Click here to go to the Pharmacoepidemiology forum (opens in a new tab)


The importance of pharmacoepidemiological research is gaining recognition. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard for evaluating medicine efficacy. However, RCTs are typically of short duration and are often under-powered to detect uncommon adverse events (Hilmer et al. 2012). Specific patients groups (e.g. children, older people) and those with multiple chronic conditions are often excluded from participation in RCTs. This means that observational research is necessary to determine the safety of medicines in ‘real-world’ settings. There is both increasing interest and expertise in pharmacoepidemiological research in Australia and New Zealand. This includes among clinical pharmacologists, pharmacists and other medical researchers. Understanding and appreciating the pharmacological action of medicines is essential for designing high quality pharmacoepidemiological studies (Gnjidic et al. 2013). Moreover, pharmacologists are well placed to lead clinical and policy debate arising from the results of pharmacoepidemiological research.

Chair: Simon Bell