The General Practice Research Database (GPRD) group of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced a strategic alliance with market intelligence provider IMS Health which, the partners say, will enhance the development of new and innovative medicines and improve public health worldwide.

The GPRD, which collects data on around 13 million patients in approximately 450 primary care practices throughout the UK, is the most validated, computerised database of anonymised longitudinal medical records from primary care. It is the largest and most comprehensive source of data of its kind and is used worldwide for research by the pharmaceutical industry, clinical research organisations, regulators, governments and academic institutions.

The new collaboration brings the GPRD together with IMS’ Disease Analyzer, which incorporates the most comprehensive longitudinal anonymised patient-level data in Europe. Together, the two resources provide medical treatment information for nearly 20 million de-identified patient lives, and will enable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as governments, payers, providers and the financial and healthcare supply sectors, to make critical decisions about the impact of medicines in clinical practice across different healthcare systems.

'Unrivalled' understanding

“Development of new medicines is a global process that increasingly requires greater access go anonymised patient-level data and to other capabilities that real-world clinical systems can offer today,” said Dr John Parkinson, head of GPRD. The new joint resource is “unrivalled” in providing a detailed understanding of disease areas via the risks, benefits and cost-effectiveness of current treatments, he added.

IMS’ chief operating officer, Gilles Pajot, said the alliance will offer a new level of insight across diseases, treatment options and health outcomes, and added: “R&D, health economics, outcomes and commercial departments around the globe will be better equipped to enhanced public health as they drive innovation and address unmet patient needs.”