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Guilherme Pessoa-Amorim


DPhil Student | Clinical Research Fellow

Harnessing big data sources on medications for randomised controlled trials

I am a DPhil student at the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU). My DPhil project is funded by the Medical Research Council and will determine the feasibility of using routinely collected data on drugs dispensed to patients as a primary source of information about medications for participants in large-scale randomised controlled trials.  

Recently, NHS Digital has released a new dataset on medicines dispensed in the community in England. This dataset represents an extraordinary opportunity to bring the worlds of clinical care and clinical research closer together. Nonetheless, it is first crucial to explore this dataset in detail, namely how it is produced, its technical features, and its coverage. Then, it is important to understand how these data compare to other similar sources of data on medications, and finally whether it is feasible to incorporate it in medical research, and in clinical trials in particular. 

I began my academic career in 2019 when I joined CTSU to work in the AMALFI trial, a study which aims to shed light on the burden of subclinical atrial fibrillation in elderly high-risk patients. I am also part of the clinical team for the ORION-4 trial, a study which is assessing the effect of inclisiran, a novel cholesterol-lowering therapy, on cardiovascular events on patients with established atherosclerotic disease. More recently, I joined the RECOVERY trial, the largest randomised controlled trial of new treatments for patients hospitalised with COVID-19.