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Quality Criteria for Real-world Data in Pharmaceutical Research and Health Care Decision-making: Austrian Expert Consensus

Real-world data (RWD) collected in routine health care processes and transformed to real-world evidence have become increasingly interesting within the research and medical communities to enhance medical research and support regulatory decision-making. Despite numerous European initiatives, there is still no cross-border consensus or guideline determining which qualities RWD must meet in order to be acceptable for decision-making within regulatory or routine clinical decision support.

In the absence of guidelines defining the quality standards for RWD, an overview and first recommendations for quality criteria for RWD in pharmaceutical research and health care decision-making is needed in Austria. An Austrian multistakeholder expert group led by Gesellschaft für Pharmazeutische Medizin (Austrian Society for Pharmaceutical Medicine) met regularly; reviewed and discussed guidelines, frameworks, use cases, or viewpoints; and agreed unanimously on a set of quality criteria for RWD.

This consensus statement was derived from the quality criteria for RWD to be used more effectively for medical research purposes beyond the registry-based studies discussed in the European Medicines Agency guideline for registry-based studies.

This paper summarizes the recommendations for the quality criteria of RWD, which represents a minimum set of requirements. In order to future-proof registry-based studies, RWD should follow high-quality standards and be subjected to the quality assurance measures needed to underpin data quality. Furthermore, specific RWD quality aspects for individual use cases (eg, medical or pharmacoeconomic research), market authorization processes, or postmarket authorization phases have yet to be elaborated.

P. Klimek, D. Baltic, M. Brunner, A. Degelsegger-Marquez, G. Garhöfer, G. Gouya-Lechner, A. Herzog, B. Jilma, S. Kähler, V. Mikl, B. Mraz, H. Ostermann, C. Röhl, R. Scharinger, T. Stamm, M. Strassnig, C. Wirthumer-Hoche, J. Pleiner-Duxneuer, Quality Criteria for Real-world Data in Pharmaceutical Research and Health Care Decision-making: Austrian Expert Consensus, JMIR Med Inform 10(6) (2022) e34204.

Peter Klimek, Faculty member at the Complexity Science Hub

Peter Klimek

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