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Epidemiology. 2015 Nov;26(6):815-20. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000325.

Brief Report: Databases in the Asia-Pacific Region: The Potential for a Distributed Network Approach.

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From the aDuke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC; bSchool of Pharmacy, Institute of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan; cCentre for Safe Medication Practice and Research, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong; dSchool of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; eCenter for Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand; fSchool of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; gSchool of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; hGraduate Institute of Clinical Medicine Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; iDepartment of Pharmacoepidemiology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; jDepartment of Epidemiology, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Singapore, Singapore; kDepartment of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; lOffice of Drug Utilization Review, Korea Institute of Drug Safety and Risk Management, Seoul, South Korea; mQuality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia; nPharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand; and oInstitute of Hospital Management, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, People's Republic of China.



This study describes the availability and characteristics of databases in Asian-Pacific countries and assesses the feasibility of a distributed network approach in the region.


A web-based survey was conducted among investigators using healthcare databases in the Asia-Pacific countries. Potential survey participants were identified through the Asian Pharmacoepidemiology Network.


Investigators from a total of 11 databases participated in the survey. Database sources included four nationwide claims databases from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; two nationwide electronic health records from Hong Kong and Singapore; a regional electronic health record from western China; two electronic health records from Thailand; and cancer and stroke registries from Taiwan.


We identified 11 databases with capabilities for distributed network approaches. Many country-specific coding systems and terminologies have been already converted to international coding systems. The harmonization of health expenditure data is a major obstacle for future investigations attempting to evaluate issues related to medical costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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