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General Practice Research Database

The General Practice Research Database (GPRD) is a large database of anonymised medical records collected at GP surgeries around the UK. The database is used only for medical and health research. It is considered by many as the gold standard of longitudinal anonymised patient databases from primary care[1] and its usage has resulted in over 500 clinical reviews and papers. The GPRD is the world's largest computerised database of anonymised patient data from general practice[2][3].



The GPRD began as the VAMP Research Databank in June 1987 and was first used for research studies during the early 1990s. In November 1993, its parent company was acquired by Reuters Health Information, which donated the database to the Department of Health in the following year. It acquired its current name at this time.

Until 1999 the database was operated by the Office for National Statistics, at which point the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) took over. This agency became the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 01 April 2003 following a merger with the Medical Devices Agency (MDA). Since then use of the database has expanded within the UK and overseas. The GPRD is now a sub-division of the MHRA.[4]

In 2007, GPRD announced a strategic alliance with the IMS Health, which incorporates GPRD and the IMS Disease Analyzer™, resulting in the most comprehensive longitudinal anonymized patient-level data in Europe. Together, these two resources encompass medical treatment information for nearly 20 million de-identified patient lives. The combined expertise of GPRD and IMS enable pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as governments, payers, providers and the financial and healthcare supply sectors, to make critical decisions about the impact of medicines in clinical practice across different healthcare systems.

The head of research is Dr Tjeerd-Pieter van Staa, a very experienced pharmacoepidemiologist who is also affiliated to the Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Information collected

The following information is collected from participanting GP surgeries in the United Kingdom. The data is anonymised at the point of collection to protect the privacy of the individuals from whom the data comes.

  • Demographics (including age and sex)
  • Medical symptoms, signs and diagnoses
  • Therapy (medicines, vaccines, devices)
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Events leading to withdrawal of a drug or treatment
  • Referrals to hospitals or specialists
  • Laboratory tests, pathology results
  • Lifestyle factors (height, weight, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption)
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Patient registration, practice and consultation details

See also


  1. ^ GPRD: Why GPRD?
  2. ^ Department of Health
  3. ^ GPRD
  4. ^ GPRD: History
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "General_Practice_Research_Database". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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