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Faculty Profile

varisco-tyler-21.jpgTyler J. Varisco

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy
Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy

University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Health 2, Room 9047
4349 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204-5047

Contact: - 713-743-5812


Dr. Varisco is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes of Policy and assistant director for Research Development in the Prescription Drug Misuse Education and Research Center at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. Dr. Varisco is a registered pharmacist and a trained health services researcher. He holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. His research focuses primarily on evaluating and improving the quality of care for persons with opioid use disorder.

In his prior work, Dr. Varisco has leveraged a variety of primary and secondary data techniques to identify and ameliorate systemic barriers to harm reduction and treatment in provider offices and pharmacies. With funding from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts, Dr. Varisco is currently leading a collaborative effort between three colleges of pharmacy, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and the National Community Pharmacists Association to create pharmacy specific, evidence-based practice guidelines to promote access to buprenorphine in community pharmacies. He is also a co-investigator on the Texas Improved Dissemination and Evaluation of Single Use Disposal Systems (TIDES), a multi-year project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

  • Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy, University of Houston College of Pharmacy
  • Pharm.D., University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
  • B.S. in Biology, Texas A&M University

ORCiD Profile
  • Varisco TJ, Abughosh SM, Chen H, Fleming ML, Ziedonis D, Thornton JD. Switching pharmacies leads to gaps in medication possession in individuals treated with buprenorphine. J Am Pharm Assoc. In Press, 2021.
  • Thornton JD, Varisco TJ, Downs CG. Factors associated with the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program by prescribers and pharmacists in Texas. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. Accepted, 2021.
  • Tata V, Varisco TJ, Du N, Nguyen J, Haghparast P, Thornton JD. Clinical Decision-Making Involving Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs: A Factorial, Vignette-Based Study Among Student Pharmacists. J Am Pharm Assoc. Accepted, 2021.
  • Thornton JD, Varisco TJ, Downs CD, Shen C. Impact of COVID-19 related policy changes on buprenorphine dispensing in Texas. J Addict Med. Dec 2020; 14 (6): e372-e374.
  • Varisco TJ, Johnson ML, Thornton JD. Comment on Arshad et al: Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Combination in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19. J Infect Dis Med. In Press, 2020.
  • Varisco TJ, Shen C, Thornton JD. Chronic prescription opioid use predicts stabilization on buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Sub Abuse Treat. Oct 2020; 117: 108073.
  • Downs CG, Varisco TJ, Bapat SS, Shen C, Thornton JD. Impact of COVID-19 related policy changes on filling of opioid and benzodiazepine medications. Res Soc Adm Pharm. 2020; 17(1): 2005-2008.
  • Varisco TJ, Downs CG, Rathburn KR, Fleming ML, Thornton JD. Applying the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, and Behavior Model to Identify Opportunities to Increase Pharmacist Comfort Dispensing Naloxone in Texas: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach. Int J Drug Policy. Sep 2020; 83: 102827.
  • Imarhia F, Varisco TJ, Wanat MA, Thornton JD. Prescription drug disposal products for patient use: a discussion of available options. J Am Pharm Assoc. Jul 2020; 60(4) e7-e13.
  • Varisco TJ, Fleming ML, Bapat SS, Wanat MA, Thornton JD. Healthcare Practitioner Counseling Encourages Disposal of Unused Opioid Medication. J Am Pharm Assoc. Nov 2019; 59(6):809-815.
  • Fleming ML, Driver L, Sansgiry S, Abughosh SM, Wanat M, Varisco TJ, Pickard T, Reeve K, Todd KH. DEA Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products is Associated With Changes in Physician Pain Management Prescribing Preferences. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2019; Aug 27:1-10.
  • Fleming MF, Varisco TJ, Bapat S. Using the theory of planned behavior to investigate Texas community pharmacist willingness to counsel patients about prescription drug misuse and refer. Res Soc Adm Pharm. 2019;15(8):992-999.
  • Varisco TJ, Ogunsanya ME, Barner JC, Fleming ML. Pharmacists' perceptions regarding the impact of hydrocodone rescheduling on prescription volume, workflow management, and patient outcomes. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2017;57(2S):S51-S62.


  • Graduate Student Excellence Award, Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy, 2020
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Walmart Scholar-2018


  • Rho Chi Honor Society (2020-Present)
  • American Public Health Association (2020-Present)
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (2019-Present)
  • American Pharmacists Association (2015-Present)