Stürmer offers principles and considerations for effective academia-industry collaboration in pharmacoepidemiology

September 1, 2018

Dr. Til Stürmer

Dr. Til Stürmer

Bringing together academic and private industries in pursuit of biomedical discovery leverages the best of both institutions to advance human health and benefit a large population. Though these partnerships begin with a shared vision, different interests between the two groups can jeopardize their work, said Til Stürmer, MD, PhD,  Nancy A. Dreyer Distinguished Professor and chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology.

Stürmer co-authored a set of guiding principles and considerations that public-private partners can use in pharmacoepidemiological research to create scientifically sound research studies that also acknowledge the different interests between the two groups. “Principles and Considerations for Effective Academia–Industry Collaboration in Pharmacoepidemiology” was published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

The report includes five principles that, when addressed at the outset of the project and confirmed in an official agreement, can help avoid roadblocks to meaningful pharmacoepidemiological research and outcomes:

  • Transparency – establish clear roles, responsibilities and rules of engagement;
  • Conflicts of interest – recognize financial, commercial, professional and personal conflicts to assure the research is free from external bias;
  • Confidentiality – provide approaches to meeting each entity’s needs without compromising public health interests;
  • Conduct of the Study – outline protocols that explain adherence to regulations, best practices and approvals related to the study; and
  • Publication – identify authors’ roles and rights, as well as how the team will disseminate research findings.

Incorporating these principles into these agreements creates a framework that can be embedded into existing agreements or used to create new ones, said Stürmer. The document has been endorsed by the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE).

“The authors and ISPE invite discussion on this document and hope that it will serve as guidance for academia-industry collaborations in pharmacoepidemiology and beyond,” said Stürmer.


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Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@listserv.unc.edu.

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