Dr. Inmaculada (Inma) Hernandez, PharmD., Ph.D.

Professor, Division of Clinical Pharmacy
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Inmaculada (Inma) Hernandez, PharmD., Ph.D.

Pronouns: She|Her|Hers

(858) 822-6047

Human Resources

Mandi Garhartt (formerly Walker)


Karla Barranco Marquez

Research Summary

 Inmaculada (Inma) Hernandez is a pharmaceutical health services researcher and a Professor with tenure at the University of California, San Diego. Hernandez has authored over 100 scientific articles (>80 as first or senior author), including first-authored papers in JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine or Annals of Internal Medicine, among other leading journals. Her scientific contributions have been covered by media worldwide and have been featured by the main outlets, including New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CNN, Forbes, or BBC. Hernandez was tenured at the remarkably young age of 30 and appointed to a Full professorship at 32. Hernandez was recognized on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2018 and in 2021 she became the first pharmacist to be honored with the Academy Health Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award. This recognition is one of the highest honors for early-career health policy researchers. Hernandez currently holds the National Academy of Medicine Fellowship in Pharmacy, and she serves as an Associate Editor for Health Affairs Scholar. She is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Hernandez is a nationally recognized pharmaceutical policy scholar who has made major contributions to improving transparency in the drug pricing and reimbursement system. Hernandez was the first to quantify the contribution of innovation versus inflation in the rising trends of drug prices. In 2020, she documented in JAMA the increasingly large disconnect between the list prices of medications and manufacturers’ net revenue, which is the product of confidential rebates. In order to shed light into these opaque pricing and discounting dynamics, Hernandez developed an algorithm in collaboration with Sean Dickson that leverages multiple datasets to track cash flow across the drug supply chain. This algorithm produced the first public estimates of confidential manufacturer discounts to pharmacy benefit managers for leading drug products. Hernandez’s landmark studies on drug prices have attracted the attention of policymakers and have been used as evidence in Congressional hearings and reports on drug prices.

Besides her policy research, Hernandez maintains a NIH-funded research program focused on the application of advanced methods and large datasets to optimize medication use in older adults. These pharmaco-epidemiology efforts have centered on improving the use of anticoagulants to prevent strokes associated with atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac arrhythmia. Additionally, Hernandez has pioneered the execution of nationwide person-level geographic information systems (GIS) analysis to measure inequities in spatial accessibility to the health care infrastructure. This research line commenced in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic with the development of an app that informed the Pennsylvania Department of Health in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to medically underserved areas.

Academic Achievements

Education: PharmD (2013) University of Navarra (Spain); Master of Science in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics (2013) University Pompeu i Fabra (Spain); PhD in Health Services Research and Policy (2016) University of Pittsburgh.

Selected Awards: National Academy of Medicine Fellow in Pharmacy (2022); Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy Award for Excellence (2022); Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award (2021); University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Alumni Award for Research (2021); Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research Award (2019); Fellow, American Heart Association (2019); Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society Inductee (2019); Rho Chi Society Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Award (2019); Forbes 30 under 30 (2018); Fellow, American College of Cardiology (2018); Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society Omicron Chapter Best Doctoral Dissertation Award (2017); PCORI/AHA Comparative Effectiveness Research and Precision Research Clinician Challenge Award (2016).

  • Introduction to Health Care Systems and Policy.
Key Contributions
  • Development of an algorithm that tracks cash flow across the drug supply chain (2023)
  • Development of an ArcGIS App that informed the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to medically underserved areas in Pennsylvania, as covered in US News & World Report
  • First nation-wide study quantifying access to potential COVID-19 administration facilities (2020)
  • First peer-reviewed report of the disconnect between list prices of medications and discounted prices (2020)
  • First publication quantifying to what extent rising drug prices are due to innovation versus inflation (2019)
  • First evidence on outcomes associated with the resumption of direct oral anticoagulants in patients surviving a major bleeding event  (2016)
  • First estimation of the risk of bleeding with dabigatran in the real-world clinical practice (2015)
Potential Collaborative Programs
  • Health economics and outcomes research studies   of anticoagulants.
  • Evaluation of new insurance programs and provider payment models.
  • Drug pricing research.
  • COVID-19 pandemic disruptions of cardiovascular disease care.
  • Application of geographic information systems (GIS) methods to quantify disparities in access to health care facilities.