FACETS
Published in

FACETS

Partnering with research users to answer their critical research questions.

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Policy makers, clinicians, and patients frequently have questions about whether drugs are safe to take and whether they work. The Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN) was created in Canada to get answers to these important questions.

Five collaborating centres that include researchers with internationally recognised expertise were identified to answer these questions using the highest quality research methods.

Read the open access paper on the FACETS website.

These groups also engaged and trained policy makers, patients, and clinicians on understanding and using the results of the research they produced. One of these collaborating centres, called MAGIC (Methods and Applications Group in Indirect Comparisons), completed different types of reviews, looking at all of the evidence on a particular topic.

These reviews used new methods to compare all potential drugs and for different outcomes that were important to patients, clinicians, and policy makers. The results of these reviews identified what drug was safest and most effective to use in a patient population.

Since DSEN was started, MAGIC responded to almost half of the queries that people submitted. The results of these reviews were used to make decisions on government policy and for clinical practice and shared decision-making with patients and clinicians.

For example, for people with diabetes, there are many different types of long-acting insulin including human and animal insulins as well as biosimilars. Biosimilars are medications that are similar to the “original” medication, which is already available to buy. Biosimilars are appealing because they can be provided at a cheaper cost when a drug patent runs out for the original drug.

MAGIC did a review of whether biosimilar insulins are as effective as the original. The results showing that the biosimilars are effective, have been used by Health Canada and the World Health Organisation to inform their Essential Medicines List.

MAGIC has trained thousands of individuals to understand and use this type of research.

Read the paper — Providing valid evidence for decision-making: the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network Methods and Applications Group in Indirect Comparisons (DSEN MAGIC) by Sharon E. Straus, Brian Hutton, David Moher, Shannon E. Kelly, George A. Wells, and Andrea C. Tricco

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FACETS is a multidisciplinary open access science journal. www.facetsjournal.com

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