Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), an e-health secure research service, launched April 3, promising to help improve public health, quicken the development of new treatments for patients and attract investment in the U.K.’s life sciences sector and economy.
“The U.K. is a world leader in life sciences, but both the research base and industry tell us that we could make better use of data in order to drive medical breakthroughs,” said David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science. “The Clinical Practice Research Datalink will…give valuable insights into serious health conditions and ultimately help reduce the time it takes to develop new treatments.”
As part of the government’s “Plan for Growth,” CPRD will enable health researchers to have better access to anonymized National Health Service (NHS) data from patients suffering with different health conditions like cancer and diabetes. This will help researchers better understand the causes of illness and protect public health while ensuring new health research projects in the U.K.
The new e-health secure research service combines the expertise of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) General Practice Research Database (GPRD) and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Capability Program which piloted the service over the last four years. The CPRD will be hosted and managed by the MHRA.
The CPRD will build on the current support for researchers already in place across a number of areas, including:
Data services: Access to data for researchers (NHS, social care and others); data matching and linkage services, data validation and access to real time data to facilitate surveillance activities and support the public health agenda.
Interventional research services: Feasibility of research proposal (i.e. are there enough research subjects in a given area to undertake the study?); site and patient level recruitment; full e-data services; linkage services for clinical trials, full clinical trial input; biological sample collection and linkage; patient reported outcomes collection and linkage.
Research services: Advise on research methodology, research governance and feasibility of research proposals; provide consultancy services including the provision of patient and healthcare professional input; ability to undertake research studies on behalf of customers.
All patient data provided through the service is anonymized, protecting people’s confidentiality. Patients can opt-out if they wish by speaking to their doctor.