Pharmacoepidemiological research is the study of the use, safety and efficacy of drugs once they have been marketed and entered common usage amongst the population. Pharmacoepidemiology involves the whole spectrum of therapies. Drugs can also be used in epidemiological studies as indicators of illness. The Norwegian Prescription Database along with other key health registries and health studies are important data sources in our research and analyses in the field of pharmaceuticals.
The department is responsible for national and international reporting on pharmaceuticals within the NIPH. The department is involved in a number of ongoing studies and projects, including studies on the use of various types of drugs by children and young people, e.g. ADHD drugs, antidepressants, sleep medication, and drugs for treating asthma and diabetes. These studies often rely on a range of different registries and health studies, which provides good opportunities for describing various aspects of medication use and how the use develops over time. The department has also participated in several major Nordic and International studies on the safety of medication use by pregnant women and its effect on the child. Funding from NordForsk and the Norwegian Research Council has been granted for this research. In the field of cardiovascular health we have developed risk models for use in national prevention guidelines. The projects include the use of cardiovascular medication following a heart attack, social inequalities regarding the use of medication and studies on the efficacy and side-effects of medication amongst the population. The projects use registries, data from various cardiovascular population studies, and data from the CVDNOR project involving hospital discharge diagnoses in the period 1994–2009. The department works extensively with various research communities both national, in the Nordic region and globally.