On Jan. 11, 2012, AstraZeneca and IMS Health announced a three-year collaboration to use real-world healthcare data from Europe to guide AstraZeneca’s discovery and clinical development programs. The partnership will give AstraZeneca access to de-identified electronic health records, which include clinical outcomes, economic, and treatment pattern data. In addition, the companies will jointly develop a customized research and data-analysis platform.
The information will be used to analyze how medicines that are already on the market are being used in real-world clinical applications, and to elucidate the standard of care and treatment patterns across several therapeutic areas, with an emphasis on chronic illnesses. AstraZeneca aims to use the analysis to allocate its R&D and clinical development resources more effectively. Martin Mackay, AstraZeneca’s president of R&D, said in a press release: “Our collaboration with IMS is a key milestone in our commitment to understand the impact of our medicines in the real world, beyond what we see in controlled clinical trials. This insight will help us and healthcare decision-makers to improve the treatment of disease and ensure effective use of medicines to minimize the burden on individuals and healthcare budgets.”
The collaboration with IMS Health to use European health information to analyze real-world healthcare trends follows a similar agreement between AstraZeneca and HealthCore, the health outcomes research subsidiary of WellPoint. The partnership with HealthCore was announced in February 2011, and aims to analyze US healthcare data to find ways of improving overall patient health while lowering the total cost of care—especially in the treatment of chronic diseases.