Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD

faculty photo
Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Department: Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
423 Guardian Drive
803 Blockley Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
Office: 215-898-9112
Fax: 215-573-5315
BS (Pharmacy)
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1989.
PharmD (Clinical Pharmacy)
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1990.
MSCE (Clinical Epidemiology)
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1996.
PhD (Epidemiology with Biostatistics minor)
University of Pennsylvania, 2002.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Hennessy conducts research in the field of pharmacoepidemiology, which is the study of the health effects of drugs and other medical products in populations. His team identified a survival benefit of potassium supplementation in users of loop diuretics, and studied serious health consequences of drug-drug interactions involving high-risk drugs including anticoagulants, antidiabetic agents and antiplatelet agents. His research has produced crucial knowledge about the cardiovascular safety of many widely-used drugs for mental health conditions in including ADHD, depression, and schizophrenia. He also evaluated an early approach to using medical insurance data to improve prescribing, finding it ineffective despite its federal mandate. This contributed to the omission of a requirement for drug utilization review programs in Medicare Part D. He co-led a pair of studies demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of the SA14-14-2 vaccine for Japanese encephalitis (JE), which subsequently led to the immunization of millions of children per year in populous countries including Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Use of that vaccine has been credited with reducing the incidence of JE. He co-developed the trend-in-trend research design for studying the effects of rapidly increasing or declining exposures. He was the senior author of one of two citizen petitions to the US Food and Drug Administration that led to re-labeling of metformin, the best-proven oral drug for diabetes, to permit its use in persons with mild to moderate renal insufficiency.

Selected Publications

Rowan C, Flory J, Gerhard T, Cuddeback J, Stempniewicz N, Lewis JD, Hennessy S: Agreement and validity of electronic health record prescribing data relative to pharmacy claims data: A validation study from an electronic health record database. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2017 (in press).

Na L, Streim JE, Pezzin LE, Kurichi JE, Xie D, Bogner HR, Kwong PL, Asch SM, Hennessy S: Disparities in receipt of recommended care among younger versus older Medicare beneficiaries: a cohort study. BMC Health Services Research 2017 (in press).

Zhou M, Wang SV, Leonard CE, Gagne JJ, Fuller C, Hampp C, Archdeacon P, Toh S, Iyer A, Woodworth TS, Cavagnaro E, Panozza C, Axtman S, Carnahan RM, Chrischilles, Hennessy S: Pilot test of the sentinel modular program for propensity-score matched cohort analyses: application to glyburide, glipizide, and serious hypoglycemia. Epidemiology 2017 (in press).

Han X, Chiang CW, Leonard CE, Bilker WB, Brensinger CM, Li L, Hennessy S: Biomedical iInformatics approaches to identifying drug-drug interactions: Application to insulin secretagogues. Epidemiology 2017 (doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000638).

Ji X, Small DS, Leonard CE, Hennessy S: The trend-in-trend research design for causal inference. Epidemiology 2017 (doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000579).

Leonard CE, Brensinger CM, Nam YH, Bilker WB, Barosso GM, Mangaali MJ, Hennessy S: The quality of Medicaid and Medicare data obtained from CMS and its contractors: implications for pharmacoepidemiology. BMC Health Services Research 17: 304, 2017.

Leonard CE, Brensinger CM, Bilker WB, Kimmel SE, Han X, Nam Y, Gagne JJ, Mangaali MJ, Hennessy S: Gastrointestinal bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage in concomitant users of warfarin and antihyperlipidemics. International Journal of Cardiology 228: 761-770, 2017.

Na L, Hennessy S, Bogner HR, Kurichi JE, Stineman M, Streim JE, Kwong PL, Xie D, Pezzin LE: Disability stage and receipt of recommended care among elderly Medicare beneficiaries. Disability and Health Journal 2016

Bachhuber MA, Hennessy S, Cunningham CO, Starrels JL: Increasing benzodiazepine prescriptions and overdose mortality in the United States, 1996-2013. American Journal of Public Health 2016 (e1–e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303061).

Na L, Pan Q, Xie D, Kurichi JE, Streim JE, Bogner HR, Saliba D, Hennessy S: Activity limitation stages Are Associated with hospitalization risk among Medicare beneficiaries. PM&R 2016 (doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2016.09.008).

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Last updated: 04/27/2017
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