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Article Title

Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance research database for pharmacoepidemiology research

Abstract

In order to (1) present the structure of Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) research databases, along with the comparison with automated databases in other countries, (2) estimate the strengths and weaknesses of the NHI research databases, and (3) systematically review pharmacoepidemiology studies using the NHI research databases, we compared the characteristics of existing automated databases to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the NHI research databases. In addition, the Medline was used as a tool to search pharmacoepidemiology studies using Taiwan's NHI research databases since 1997. The automated NHI research databases are very comparable with large research databases of other countries (US, Canada and UK). As a result, they serve as major resources for up to 11 pharmacoepidemiology studies published since 2002. However, these studies usually focused on the analysis of drug utilization pattern and drug utilization volume. As a result, there is still a huge lack of identification of potential drug safety issues using the NHI research databases. The construction of NHI research databases absolutely provides abundant research resources for scholars not only in medical fields but also in public health-related disciplines. Many studies using the NHI research databases have been published in international journals. Yet, researchers in Taiwan could make even greater progress toward thorough pharmacoepidemiology studies using the NHI research databases.

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