Data sources for drug utilization research in Latin American countries-A cross-national study: DASDUR-LATAM study

Luciane C Lopes, Maribel Salas, Claudia Garcia Serpa Osorio-de-Castro, Lisiane Freitas Leal, Svetlana V Doubova, Martín Cañás, Anahi Dreser, Angela Acosta, Andre Oliveira Baldoni, Cristiane de Cássia Bergamaschi, Daniel Marques Mota, Diana L Gómez-Galicia, Dino Sepúlveda-Viveros, Edgard Narvaez Delgado, Elisangela da Costa Lima, Felipe Vera Chandia, Felipe Ferre, Gustavo H Marin, Ismael Olmos, Ivan R ZimmermannIzabela Fulone, Juan Roldán-Saelzer, Juan Carlos Sánchez-Salgado, Lucila I Castro-Pastrana, Luiz Jupiter Carneiro de Souza, Manuel Machado Beltrán, Marcus Tolentino Silva, María Belén Mena, Marta Maria de França Fonteles, Martín A Urtasun, Mónica Tarapués, Patricia Granja Hernández, Natalia Medero, Raquel Herrera-Comoglio, Silvio Barberato-Filho, Taís Freire Galvão, Vera Lucia Luiza, Yared Santa-Ana-Tellez, Yesenia Rodríguez-Tanta, Monique Elseviers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: Drug utilization research (DUR) contributes to inform policymaking and to strengthen health systems. The availability of data sources is the first step for conducting DUR. However, documents that systematize these data sources in Latin American (LatAm) countries are not known. We compiled the potential data sources for DUR in the LatAm region.

METHODS: A network of DUR experts from nine LatAm countries was assembled and experts conducted: (i) a website search of the government, academic, and private health institutions; (ii) screening of eligible data sources, and (iii) liaising with national experts in pharmacoepidemiology (via an online survey). The data sources were characterized by accessibility, geographic granularity, setting, sector of the data, sources and type of the data. Descriptive analyses were performed.

RESULTS: We identified 125 data sources for DUR in nine LatAm countries. Thirty-eight (30%) of them were publicly and conveniently available; 89 (71%) were accessible with limitations, and 18 (14%) were not accessible or lacked clear rules for data access. From the 125 data sources, 76 (61%) were from the public sector only; 46 (37%) were from pharmacy records; 43 (34%) came from ambulatory settings and; 85 (68%) gave access to individual patient-level data.

CONCLUSIONS: Although multiple sources for DUR are available in LatAm countries, the accessibility is a major challenge. The procedures for accessing DUR data should be transparent, feasible, affordable, and protocol-driven. This inventory could permit a comparison of drug utilization between countries identifying potential medication-related problems that need further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-352
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number3
Early online date26 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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