Considerations for pharmacoepidemiological analyses in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Anton Pottegård*, Xavier Kurz, Nicholas Moore, Christian F. Christiansen, Olaf Klungel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered several hypotheses regarding use of specific medicines and risk of infection as well as prognosis. Under these unique circumstances, rapid answers require quick engagement in data collection and analyses; however, appropriate design and conduct of pharmacoepidemiologic studies are needed to generate valid and reliable evidence. In this paper, endorsed by the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology, we provide methodological considerations for the conduct of pharmacoepidemiological studies in relation to the pandemic across eight domains: (1) timeliness of evidence, including the need to prioritise some questions over others in the acute phase of the pandemic; (2) the need to align observational and interventional research on efficacy; (3) the specific challenges related to “real-time epidemiology” during an ongoing pandemic; (4) what design to use to answer a specific question; (5) considerations on the definition of exposures; (6) what covariates to collect; (7) considerations on the definition of outcomes; and (8) the need for transparent reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-831
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • bias
  • COVID-19
  • methodology
  • pharmacoepidemiology


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