BSc(Pharm), PharmD, FCSHP
Dr. Fawziah Lalji (Marra) obtained her bachelor of science in pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy at UBC. She subsequently completed a two-year fellowship in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy at the Vancouver General Hospital. She is a professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC and has practiced infectious diseases pharmacotherapy within both the acute care (hospital) sector and public health (at the BC Centre for Disease Control).
Dr. Lalji's work at the BC Centre for Disease Control allowed her to focus on applied research around population and public health of communicable diseases. Thus, much of Dr. Lalji's work focuses on health outcomes associated with immunizations and treatment of tuberculosis, and it directly translated to changes in policy within British Columbia. Dr. Lalji's uses British Columbia's administrative databases for pharmacoepidemiological evaluation as well as health economic modelling, particularly for vaccine-preventable diseases. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and research abstracts in prestigious medical journals, and has been a recipient of many research awards.
Applied research around population and public health of communicable diseases has been the focus of Dr. Lalji's research for most of her career. Together with her colleagues at the BC Centre for Disease Control, she has published numerous studies that evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new therapies in individuals with tuberculosis and immunization. She is well-versed in the use of large administrative databases to conduct pharmacoepidemiological evaluations, such as the studies on the use of antivirals in preventing hospitalizations during the H1N1 pandemic, the delay in diagnosis of TB, use of antibiotics and development of asthma, use of various antibiotics for urinary tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections and upper respiratory tract infections.
Some of the pharmacoepidemiological data obtained from the administrative databases (such as incidence of disease, health outcomes, resource utilization, length of stay, and cost to the health care system) is paired with quality of life data to build economic models that use real data to implement new policies around communicable disease control. Evidence of such models include publications on the cost-effectiveness of switching to a new but more costly diagnostic test, Quantiferon Gold, cost-effectiveness of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment for contacts, and cost-effectiveness of various immunizations.
Current research projects include building a cost-effectiveness model for foreign born patients who have been exposed to LTBI, epidemiology of herpes zoster infections in BC, risk of zoster following immunosuppressive conditions and/or medications, epidemiology of community-acquired Clostridium difficile infections, meta-analysis on antibiotics used for C. difficile treatment, and adverse event reporting of influenza immunizations by pharmacists.
"Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) Grant." Halparin S (PI), Marra F, and a network of Canadian immunization researchers. $6.6 million. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 2014–2017.
"Herpes zoster incidence in BC." Marra F (PI). $54,000. Merck Canada. 2013–2015. "Antibiotics for SSTI/CA-MRSA." Marra F (PI), Patrick DM, McKay R. $25,000. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 2013–2014.
"M-health for treatment of latent TB infection." Lester R (PI), Marra F, Johnston J, Taylor D, Fitzgerald M. $150,000. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 2012–2015.
"Screening for TB during immigration to Canada." Marra F (PI), Elwood K. $30,000. TB Vets. 2012–2015.
"Adverse events related to anti-TB medications." Marra F. Pre-conference workshop, allied professionals. International TB and Lung Disease Conference. Barcelona, ES. October 28, 2014.
"Therapeutic drug monitoring for anti-TB drugs: a Systematic review." Marra F. International TB and Lung Disease Conference. Barcelona, ES. October 31, 2014.
"Effectiveness of antivirals during H1N1 pandemic influenza outbreak in British Columbia." Marra F. Influenza Meeting Capetown, ZA. September 2013.
"Antimicrobial use for skin and soft tissue infections – 2009." Marra F. European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). London, UK. March 2012.