Anne Holbrook

MD, PharmD, MSc, FRCP(C)

Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Professor, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Medicine

Active Medical Staff, Hamilton Health Sciences and St Joseph 's Healthcare Hamilton

Senior Scientist, Center for Evaluation of Medicines



Education and Professional Standing

Dr Holbrook is the Director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, McMaster University; Professor, Department of Medicine, McMaster University and Senior Scientist, Centre for Evaluation of Medicines, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. She trained in clinical pharmacy, clinical pharmacology, medicine, internal medicine and clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, McGill University and McMaster University.

She is an Active Medical Staff member of Hamilton Health Sciences and St Joseph 's Healthcare Hamilton, leading an internal medicine and clinical pharmacology teaching service specializing in the management of  hospitalized adults with multiple diagnoses and multiple medications, drug-related harms or intolerances, or medication access issues.

Dr Holbrook is a leader in health sciences education, training multiple medical students, graduate and undergraduate students annually in high quality clinical care and research. She is a national leader in efforts to improve Clinical Pharmacology knowledge and prescribing competency internationally and is a faculty member of the CIHR-funded national Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-disciplinary Training Program.

She is one of the most senior drug policy expert advisors in the country, having advised governments and public payers at the federal, provincial and regional levels for several decades on comparative effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of medications. Decisions taken currently influence more than $10 billion worth of medication expenditures annually.

Research Interests

Dr. Holbrook's main research area is evidence-based therapeutics, with current or recent studies on personalizing benefit:harm information for individual patients, cost-related nonadherence, patient preferences for high impact drugs using decision aids, pharmacoepidemiology using linked health databases, pragmatic randomized trials of technology-assisted medication management, systematic reviews of drug interaction impact on clinical outcomes, and assessment of prescribing competency.

She was the recipient of a Career Investigator award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research for innovation in decision-making for patients, practitioners, and policy makers. She remains the Principal Investigator of Canada's original electronic medical record research network (COMPETE) which develops, implements, and evaluates various e-health initiatives directed at improving the quality of therapeutics.

Dr Holbrook’s extensive research and education activities keep her at or near the top of the Department of Medicine’s academic merit ranking each year.

Selected Publications

  1. Liu J, Wong S, Foster G, Holbrook A. Prescribing Competency of Medical Students: National Survey of Medical Education Leaders. Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology. 2018;25(1):e18-e24. Doi: 10.22374/1710-6222.25.1.2. (Featured Article).
  2. Holbrook A, Lau F. Methods for Comparative Studies In: Lau F, Kuziemsky C, (eds). Handbook of eHealth Evaluation – An Evidence-Based Approach. 2016; 181-198.
  3. Holbrook A, Randolph A, Brandt L, Garg AX, Haynes B, Cook D, Guyatt G. Clinical Decision Support Systems In:  Guyatt G, Rennie D et al (eds). Users' Guides to the Medical Literature. Essentials of evidence-based clinical practice. 3rd Edition. JAMA Evidence, 2015; 163-174.
  4. Lee M, Wang M, Holbrook A. Do Telehealth Interventions Improve Oral Anticoagulation Management? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis 2018.
  5. Holbrook A, Dormuth C, Morrow R, Lee A, Troyan S, Li G, Pullenyegum E.  Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of New Anticoagulants versus Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation in Real World Practice: A Population-based Cohort Study Protocol. BMJ Open 2016;6:e013263 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013263.
  6. Fatima S, Holbrook A, Schulman S, Curnew G, Park S, Troyan S. Development and Validation of a Decision Aid for Choosing Among Antithrombotic Agents for Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis; 2016;145:143-148 July 5 doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2016.06.015.
  7. Holbrook A, Schulman S, Witt DM, Vandvik PO, Fish J, Kovacs MJ, Svensson PJ, Veenstra DL, Crowther M, Guyatt GH. Evidence-Based Management of Anticoagulant Therapy: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest 2012;141;e152S-e184S.
  8. Holbrook A, Goldsmith C, Leung M. (2008). Placebos. In: Wiley Encyclopedia of Clinical Trials, John Wiley & Sons Inc, .eOCT984.
  9. Holbrook A, Pullenayegum E, Thabane L, Troyan S, Foster G, Keshavjee K, Chan D, Dolovich L, Gerstein H, Demers C, Curnew G. Shared Electronic Vascular Risk Decision Support in Primary Care: COMPETE III Randomized Trial. Arch Intern Med 2011;171(19):1736-1744.
  10. Hemens BJ, Holbrook A, Tonkin M, Mackay J.A, Weise-Kelly L, Wilczynski NL, CCDSS Systematic Review Team. Computerized clinical decision support systems for drug prescribing and management: A decision-maker-researcher partnership systematic review. Implementation Science 2011;6:89
  11. Holbrook A, Wright M, Sung M, Ribic C, Baker S. Statin-Associated Rhabdomyolysis: Is There a Dose-Response Relationship? Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2011;27:146-151. (Article of the year)
  12. Wong K, Yu S, Holbrook A. A systematic Review of Medication Safety Outcomes Related to Drug Interaction Software. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol 2010;17(2):e243-e255.
  13. Holbrook A, Lexchin J, Pullenayegum E, Campbell C, Marlow B, Weijer C, Blackmer J, Brazil K, Willison D, Troyan S.  What Do Canadians Think About Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry Interactions? Health Policy 2013;112(3):255-63 doi:10.1016/J.Healthpol.2013.04.020.