Pharmacy-Based Medical Record Linkage Systems

Ron M.C. Herings, Lars Pedersen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter the Dutch PHARMO (PHARmacoMOrbidity linkage system), the Danish OPED (Odense University Pharmacoepidemiologic Database), and the Danish AUPD (Aarhus University Prescription Database) are discussed as selected examples of pharmacy-based medical linkage systems. Each system uses its own unique patient identifiers to link exposure (pharmacy dispensing), outcomes, and other relevant characteristics and events. The design of these databases, their strengths, weaknesses, similarities, and differences are presented. The content of the drug exposure files is discussed, as well as methods of linking to other sources, including cancer registries, hospital databases, clinical laboratories, and birth registries. Examples of how these linkages have been used in pharmacoepidemiologic, epidemiologic, and outcomes studies are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPharmacoepidemiology, Fifth Edition
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)0470654759, 9780470654750
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2012


  • AUPD
  • Birth defect
  • Cancer registration
  • Hospitalization
  • Laboratory test
  • OPED
  • Observational database
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Record linkage

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