Peter M. Wahl, ScD, MLA, MS, Director, Epidemiology, Covance


Dr. Wahl is a pharmPeter M. Wahlacoepidemiologist specializing in complex study design and analytic methods, with expertise in the full spectrum of primary and secondary health care data. He directs epidemiological study design and advanced analytics in Covance Market Access Services, and devises strategic advice for clients in the development and synthesis of real world evidence. 

For the past 20 years, Dr. Wahl has held management, consulting, and research positions in for-profit and academic institutions including Aetion, the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics in the Department of Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, HealthCore, the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, CareScience, and the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Wahl received his ScD in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, his MS from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and his MLA from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his training in Pharmacoepidemiology in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wahl also holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University.


  1. Why did you decide to do a webinar with us?

The importance of real-world evidence for healthcare decision-making has grown rapidly in the past decade, making it critical to understand its applications.  Given our expertise in the nuances of real-world data and their individual strengths and challenges, we want to share this knowledge in the hope that well-informed colleagues can become effective stewards of meaningful, actionable real-world evidence.

  1. What will the audience gain from attending your webinar?

Attendees will acquire foundational knowledge and a framework to begin meaningful dialogs with their internal stakeholders around real-world evidence and the value it can bring to their organization. Specifically, the audience will become familiar with:

  • The continuum of healthcare evidence
  • Real-world evidence throughout the product development life-cycle
  • Strengths and limitations of available real-world data sources
  • A decision-analytic framework for real-world evidence development
  • Resources for best practices
  1. What’s your favourite thing about presenting to a live audience?

Presenting live offers an opportunity to engage with the audience.  The question and answer period is an excellent time to get feedback on what has been on people’s minds during the presentation, as well as to find out what most vexes them with regard to the topic at hand.  Providing meaningful answers to these questions is an opportunity to put the icing on the cake.

  1. Who or what inspired you to get into the industry?

I was working in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-90s, coordinating the observational clinical research program for the surgical head of the lung transplant and aortic arch surgery programs.  We needed someone to perform the necessary statistical tests for comparisons of treatment outcomes, so I began teaching myself using Excel and textbooks.  When the Division started loaning me out to the Cardiology and Pulmonary Care divisions, I realized I needed more formal training, and got hooked on the Epidemiology courses at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  Those courses led to one master’s degree, then another. After working in both academia as well as the private sector, I eventually completed my doctoral degree in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and my training in Pharmacoepidemiology at the Brigham.

  1. What one item would you take with you to a desert island?

Do pen and paper count as one item?  I am a book-aholic and my hobby is writing, so I would want something to write down my thoughts—or perhaps an adventure story about a pharmacoepidemiologist who escapes from a desert island.  I would write as much as possible…at least until the pen runs out and the papers blow away in a tropical storm.

Covance will be presenting their webinar Generating Real-world Evidence with Healthcare Data on 21st October at 1pm New York/6pm London Read more and register here.

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