Is a systematic review right for you?

As experts in drug safety research, we use a range of study methods to get the right information for our clients, so they can keep patients safe.

Systematic reviews are one of the tools we use to provide a comprehensive overview of a specific health topic and are a key component of evidence-based pharmacovigilance.

Benefits of systematic reviews
A Individual studies can be too small on their own to provide a robust safety profile. But our systematic literature review process meticulously checks for all existing data and compiles all eligible information in one place.

First, we formulate a research question and set eligibility criteria, to ensure we only include relevant, good quality studies. Relevant data from eligible studies is extracted and the results are synthesised. A meta-analysis is performed if appropriate.

These systematic methods reduce bias that can exist in narrative reviews, and provide more reliable results for clients.

Risk Management
A Systematic reviews are helpful when the risk/benefit profile of a drug is uncertain. In the last 18 months, DSRU has conducted several reviews of potential new Covid-19 treatments, often for existing drugs that are being re-purposed for Covid-19. The fact Covid-19 was a new disease meant data was often scarce in individual countries and so our reviews collated and analyse information globally.

Public Health
A If a safety issue arises, a large-scale systematic review can help regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical companies make better-informed decisions on risk management. High profile examples DSRU has been involved with include the ARITMO project, which assessed whether antipsychotics, antihistamines and anti-infective drugs caused arrhythmias in patients. The SAFEGUARD project is another example. The review considered whether blood glucose lowering agents caused adverse reactions in diabetes patients.

Experienced team
DSRU researchers have been conducting systematic reviews for many years. Recent examples include a review of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug,flurbiprofen and bleeding risk, as well as a review of evidence about immune response to Covid-19 vaccines by immunocompromised patients.

More information
For more information about DSRU™s experience and capabilities for systematic reviews and other drug safety research, please contact us.