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The Promotion of Data Sharing in Pharmacoepidemiology

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      Abstract

      This article addresses the role of pharmacoepidemiology in patient safety and the crucial role of data sharing in ensuring that such activities occur. Against the backdrop of proposed reforms of European data protection legislation, it considers whether the current legislative landscape adequately facilitates this essential data sharing. It is argued that rather than maximising and promoting the benefits of such activities by facilitating data sharing, current and proposed legislative landscapes hamper these vital activities. The article posits that current and proposed data protection approaches to pharmacoepidemiology — and more broadly, re-uses of data — should be reoriented towards enabling these important safety enhancing activities. Two potential solutions are offered: 1) a dedicated working party on data reuse for health research and 2) the introduction of new, dedicated legislation.

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      Most cited references 96

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      Identifying personal genomes by surname inference.

      Sharing sequencing data sets without identifiers has become a common practice in genomics. Here, we report that surnames can be recovered from personal genomes by profiling short tandem repeats on the Y chromosome (Y-STRs) and querying recreational genetic genealogy databases. We show that a combination of a surname with other types of metadata, such as age and state, can be used to triangulate the identity of the target. A key feature of this technique is that it entirely relies on free, publicly accessible Internet resources. We quantitatively analyze the probability of identification for U.S. males. We further demonstrate the feasibility of this technique by tracing back with high probability the identities of multiple participants in public sequencing projects.
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        Under-reporting of adverse drug reactions : a systematic review.

        The purpose of this review was to estimate the extent of under-reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to spontaneous reporting systems and to investigate whether there are differences between different types of ADRs. A systematic literature search was carried out to identify studies providing a numerical estimate of under-reporting. Studies were included regardless of the methodology used or the setting, e.g. hospital versus general practice. Estimates of under-reporting were either extracted directly from the published study or calculated from the study data. These were expressed as the percentage of ADRs detected from intensive data collection that were not reported to the relevant local, regional or national spontaneous reporting systems. The median under-reporting rate was calculated across all studies and within subcategories of studies using different methods or settings. In total, 37 studies using a wide variety of surveillance methods were identified from 12 countries. These generated 43 numerical estimates of under-reporting. The median under-reporting rate across the 37 studies was 94% (interquartile range 82-98%). There was no significant difference in the median under-reporting rates calculated for general practice and hospital-based studies. Five of the ten general practice studies provided evidence of a higher median under-reporting rate for all ADRs compared with more serious or severe ADRs (95% and 80%, respectively). In comparison, for five of the eight hospital-based studies the median under-reporting rate for more serious or severe ADRs remained high (95%). The median under-reporting rate was lower for 19 studies investigating specific serious/severe ADR-drug combinations but was still high at 85%. This systematic review provides evidence of significant and widespread under-reporting of ADRs to spontaneous reporting systems including serious or severe ADRs. Further work is required to assess the impact of under-reporting on public health decisions and the effects of initiatives to improve reporting such as internet reporting, pharmacist/nurse reporting and direct patient reporting as well as improved education and training of healthcare professionals.
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          Eligibility criteria of randomized controlled trials published in high-impact general medical journals: a systematic sampling review.

          Selective eligibility criteria of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are vital to trial feasibility and internal validity. However, the exclusion of certain patient populations may lead to impaired generalizability of results. To determine the nature and extent of exclusion criteria among RCTs published in major medical journals and the contribution of exclusion criteria to the representation of certain patient populations. The MEDLINE database was searched for RCTs published between 1994 and 2006 in certain general medical journals with a high impact factor. Of 4827 articles, 283 were selected using a series technique. Trial characteristics and the details regarding exclusions were extracted independently. All exclusion criteria were graded independently and in duplicate as either strongly justified, potentially justified, or poorly justified according to previously developed and pilot-tested guidelines. Common medical conditions formed the basis for exclusion in 81.3% of trials. Patients were excluded due to age in 72.1% of all trials (60.1% in pediatric populations and 38.5% in older adults). Individuals receiving commonly prescribed medications were excluded in 54.1% of trials. Conditions related to female sex were grounds for exclusion in 39.2% of trials. Of all exclusion criteria, only 47.2% were graded as strongly justified in the context of the specific RCT. Exclusion criteria were not reported in 12.0% of trials. Multivariable analyses revealed independent associations between the total number of exclusion criteria and drug intervention trials (risk ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.65; P = .003) and between the total number of exclusion criteria and multicenter trials (risk ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.52; P = .009). Industry-sponsored trials were more likely to exclude individuals due to concomitant medication use, medical comorbidities, and age. Drug intervention trials were more likely to exclude individuals due to concomitant medication use, medical comorbidities, female sex, and socioeconomic status. Among such trials, justification for exclusions related to concomitant medication use and comorbidities were more likely to be poorly justified. The RCTs published in major medical journals do not always clearly report exclusion criteria. Women, children, the elderly, and those with common medical conditions are frequently excluded from RCTs. Trials with multiple centers and those involving drug interventions are most likely to have extensive exclusions. Such exclusions may impair the generalizability of RCT results. These findings highlight a need for careful consideration and transparent reporting and justification of exclusion criteria in clinical trials.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Research Fellow, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, UK
            Journal
            9431861
            25857
            Eur J Health Law
            Eur J Health Law
            European journal of health law
            0929-0273
            0929-0273
            12 November 2014
            June 2014
            25 November 2014
            : 21
            : 3
            : 271-296
            25065034 4243024 EMS60912
            © NAYHA SETHI, 2014

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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