The General Practice Research Database: Now and the Future

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Chapter: Pharmacovigilance: The General Practice Research Database

The General Practice Research Database (GPRD) is the world’s largest computerised database of well-validated longitudinal patient records collected through the universal primary care system operated within the UK National Health Service (NHS).


The General Practice Research Database: Now and the Future

INTRODUCTION

The General Practice Research Database (GPRD) is the world’s largest computerised database of well-validated longitudinal patient records collected through the universal primary care system operated within the UK National Health Service (NHS). Almost all inhabitants are registered with a single general practice. Hospitals are required to inform general practitioners (GPs) of any significant medical events that occur in their patients. Long-term care of chronic conditions is typically managed by GPs. As a consequence, patients’ medical records as managed by the GPs contain longitudinal information on all significant medical events and prescribing. They are essentially the lifelong record for each patient and include the key secondary care information as well as laboratory, other investigations and details of all medications prescribed within general practice. These GP records contain unique information for research.

The GPRD contains the anonymised patient medi-cal records from GPs who use the Vision IT system from InPractice System Ltd (INPS) and who allow the data to be exported from their clinical system to the GPRD. Only practices that meet continuous quality standards are included in the GPRD. At present, data are collected from over three million active patients throughout the United Kingdom, representing approx-imately 5% of the UK population. Longitudinally, it now includes twelve million ever-registered patients. The total amount of follow-up in the GPRD is as of 2006 over 46 million patient-years.

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