Samarath Setru

Samarth Setru

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and Carey Law School, Class of 2025

Major: Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master in Law

Samarth Setru is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is pursuing a Doctor of Dental Medicine at the School of Dental Medicine and a Master in Law at the Carey Law School. He graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2021, where he earned his BS in Microbiology with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He was involved with a global healthcare nonprofit during his undergraduate studies, which motivated him to devote his career to increasing healthcare equity and access. As he pursues his DMD degree at Penn, he has felt inspired to take part in the SUMR program to gain experience in conducting health policy research.

During SUMR, Setru is working on two research projects. The first project with Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE analyzes the recent controversial FDA approval of Biogen’s new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Aduhelm. The goal of this research is to describe how patients and patient advocacy organizations perceive uncertainty, risks, and benefits in accelerated FDA approval decisions and to inform future decisions about company drug development programs, FDA approval, and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services coverage. The second project with Courtney Lee, MD, MPH focuses on the Caregiver Advice, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, a policy that requires hospitals to advise patients of the opportunity to designate a family caregiver and enable the caregiver by consulting them and providing education early in the discharge planning process. This project aims to determine whether state passage of the CARE Act is associated with differential improvements in the quality of communication and patient experience within a hospitalization and to assess whether state passage of the CARE Act is associated with differential reductions in all-cause hospital-wide readmissions and post-discharge utilization.