By Tom Foley.
The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is a governmental, not-for-profit research service, jointly funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It has been providing anonymised primary care records for public health research since 1987. Research using CPRD data has resulted in over 1,700 publications which have led to improvements in drug safety, best practice and clinical guidelines. Examples include confirming safety of MMR vaccine, informing NICE cancer guidance, safeguarding use of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy, influencing the management of hypertension in diabetics. CPRD is now also using primary care data in clinical trials. Examples include a real world diabetes studies comparing a new therapy to standard of care, and randomised controlled trials on myocardial infarction and COPD patients.