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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pharmacoepidemiology is the study of the uses and effects of drugs in well-defined populations.[1][2]

To accomplish this study, pharmacoepidemiology borrows from both pharmacology and epidemiology. Thus, pharmacoepidemiology is the bridge between both pharmacology and epidemiology. Pharmacology is the study of the effect of drugs and clinical pharmacology is the study of effect of drugs on clinical humans. Part of the task of clinical pharmacology is to provide a risk benefit assessment by effects of drugs in patients:[citation needed]

  • doing the studies needed to provide an estimate of the probability of beneficial effects on populations,
  • or assessing the probability of adverse effects on populations.

Other parameters relating to drug use may benefit epidemiological methodology. Pharmacoepidemiology then can also be defined as the transparent application of epidemiological methods through pharmacological treatment of conditions to better understand the conditions to be treated.[citation needed]

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases and other health states in populations. Epidemiological studies can be divided into two main types:[citation needed]

  1. Descriptive epidemiology describes disease and/or exposure and may consist of calculating rates, e.g., incidence and prevalence. Such descriptive studies do not at this time use health control groups and can only generate hypotheses, but not test them. Studies of drug use would generally fall under descriptive studies.
  2. Analytic epidemiology includes two types of studies: observational studies, such as case-control and cohort studies, and experimental studies which include clinical trials or randomized clinical trials. The analytic studies compare an exposed group with a control group and usually designed as hypothesis testing by studies.

Pharmacoepidemiology benefits from the methodology developed in general epidemiology and may further develop them for applications of methodology unique to needs of pharmacoepidemiology. There are also some areas that are altogether unique to pharmacoepidemiology, e.g., pharmacovigilance. Pharmacovigilance is a type of continual monitoring of unwanted effects and other safety-related aspects of drugs that are already placed in current growing integrating markets. In practice, pharmacovigilance refers almost exclusively to spontaneous reporting systems which allow health care professionals and others to report adverse drug reactions to the central agency. The central agency combines reports from many sources to produce a more informative profile for drug products than could be done based on reports from fewer health care professionals.[citation needed]

In Australia, a 10% sample of all people eligible for government-subsidised medicines by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) are made available for research purposes. Licences are held between Services Australia, who hold the data for the PBS, and academics at Monash University, University of New South Wales, University of South Australia and the University of Western Australia to use the 10% sample for research purposes. Research outputs from these data have to be approved by Services Australia prior to publication. These data create a useful picture of all dispensed medicines in Australia and allow for pharmacovigilance and to explore trends in medicines usage.[3][4][5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Strom, Brian (2006). Textbook of Pharmacoepidemiology. West Sussex, England: John Wiley and Sons. pp. 3. ISBN 978-0-470-02925-1.
  2. ^ Porta M, editor. Greenland S, Hernán M, dos Santos Silva I, Last JM, associate editors (2014). "A dictionary of epidemiology", 6th. edition. New York: Oxford University Press. [1] ISBN 9780199976737
  3. ^ Almeida, Osvaldo P.; Page, Amy; Sanfilippo, Frank M.; Etherton-Beer, Christopher (October 2023). "Prospective Association Between the Dispensing of Antidepressants and of Medications to Treat Osteoporosis in Older Age". The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2023.10.004. ISSN 1064-7481. PMID 37919102. S2CID 264118214.
  4. ^ Almeida, Osvaldo P.; Etherton-Beer, Christopher; Sanfilippo, Frank; Page, Amy (2024-01-01). "Health morbidities associated with the dispensing of lithium to males and females: Cross-sectional analysis of the 10 % Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme sample for 2022". Journal of Affective Disorders. 344: 503–509. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2023.10.115. ISSN 1573-2517. PMID 37852583. S2CID 264181868.
  5. ^ Ilomäki, Jenni; Fanning, Laura; Keen, Claire; Sluggett, Janet K.; Page, Amy T.; Korhonen, Maarit J.; Meretoja, Atte; Mc Namara, Kevin P.; Bell, J. Simon (2019). "Trends and Predictors of Oral Anticoagulant Use in People with Alzheimer's Disease and the General Population in Australia". Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD. 70 (3): 733–745. doi:10.3233/JAD-190094. ISSN 1875-8908. PMID 31256129. S2CID 195762396.
  6. ^ Almeida, Osvaldo P.; Etherton-Beer, Christopher; Kelty, Erin; Sanfilippo, Frank; Preen, David B.; Page, Amy (September 2023). "Lithium Dispensed for Adults Aged ≥ 50 Years Between 2012 and 2021: Analyses of a 10% Sample of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme". The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 31 (9): 716–725. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2023.03.012. ISSN 1545-7214. PMID 37080815. S2CID 257824414.
  7. ^ Page, Amy T.; Falster, Michael O.; Litchfield, Melisa; Pearson, Sallie-Anne; Etherton-Beer, Christopher (July 2019). "Polypharmacy among older Australians, 2006-2017: a population-based study". The Medical Journal of Australia. 211 (2): 71–75. doi:10.5694/mja2.50244. ISSN 1326-5377. PMID 31219179. S2CID 195188969.

External links[edit]

  • European Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology - Eu2p