Riera-Guardia N, Saltus C, Bui C, Harris DH, Kaye JA, Tennis P, Castellsague J, Perez-Gutthann S. Back in Barcelona: the landscape of database research over the last decade. Poster presented at the ISPE 28th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology; August 27, 2012. [abstract] Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 21(Suppl 3):S306-7.

Background: Databases (DBs) are a cornerstone of pharmacoepidemiology research. Little research has been done on their use.

Objectives: Quantify the contribution to pharmacocepidemiology of studies conducted in automated health care DBs over the last decade through abstracts accepted at ICPE in 2000 (Barcelona) and 2011 (Chicago).

Methods: We reviewed abstracts from the PDS supplements for both conferences to identify studies of drug utilization, safety endpoint (s), validation, and disease epidemiology in populations covered by DBs. A DB was defined as electronic medical or administrative health records for populations with individual, longitudinal person- level data. We abstracted data on author names, affiliations and country; study goal; number of DBs in the study; and DB name (s), country, and world region. We consulted literature and contacted authors for key missing information. We tabulated the DB abstracts by country and report the number of studies by country, world region, collaborative studies across countries, and other key findings.

Results: Abstracts doubled from 389 in 2000 to 806 in 2011. DB abstracts contributed 38% in 2000 and 45% in 2011. The most common study goal was drug utilization in 2000 and safety endpoints in 2011. Abstracts on validation increased from 0 to 20, the number of multi-DB abstracts doubled from 6% to 12%, and the number of countries covered increased from 14 to 22. The increase in covered countries in 2011 was primarily from Europe (mostly the Nordic countries: Norway, Finland, and Iceland) and the Asian Pacific Region (Taiwan and Japan). In 2000, the UK, USA, and the Netherlands contributed the largest number of abstracts (more than 10 each); in 2011, the USA, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Taiwan and Canada contributed the most (more than 20 each). The world region with the largest growth was the Asian Pacific with five abstracts in 2000 and 33 in 2011.

Conclusions: Over the last decade there has been a remarkable expansion in the number of countries in which pharmacoepidemiology research can be conducted in DBs. Studies across DBs, once infrequent, have become common and include collaborations across countries.

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