Identifying barriers and priority areas for building workforce capacity in pharmacoepidemiology research in Australia

Derrick Lopez, Francesco Sanfilippo, Benjamin Daniels, Sallie Pearson, Angelita Martini, David Preen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


Aims: The field of pharmacoepidemiology research has grown significantly in recent decades in Australia and internationally. Despite recent investments in infrastructure and the development of policy frameworks to support research using routinely-collected data, there has been little matching investment in expanding Australia’s human capacity to do this research. Available literature suggests a need to broaden the skills base of the existing research workforce and to form larger, interdisciplinary teams incorporating capabilities ranging from computer science, research translation to research management. However, these needs are not based on empirical evidence or prioritised based on stakeholder needs. Therefore, research is needed to understand the state of the current Australian pharmacoepidemiology workforce and to prioritise its capacity building needs. This is important now in light of Australia’s growing infrastructure of routinely-collected datasets, including Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data. Therefore, we aim to: (1) enumerate the number of pharmacoepidemiology researchers available and estimate the number required in the Australian setting; (2) profile the current pharmacoepidemiology research workforce (e.g. skills, qualifications); and (3) explore views and perspectives of senior stakeholders and researchers on issues relevant to building capacity in the pharmacoepidemiology research workforce and research environment within the country. This paper presents our proposed study and research approach to a key target audience.

Methods: Interviews with senior stakeholders (face-to-face or Skype) and surveys of pharmacoepidemiology researchers (using SurveyMonkey) will be undertaken in Australia to identify issues pertinent to building capacity in the pharmacoepidemiology research workforce. Mixed-methods approach will be used to analyse responses.

Results and conclusion: This project addresses one of the aims of a major Australian Centre of Research Excellence: to build national workforce capacity and processes in pharmacoepidemiology research and policy translation. Findings from this study will allow the development of a National program to build workforce capacity in pharmacoepidemiology research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
EventAsian Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology - The Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE), School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland 20 Cornwall St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 29 Oct 201731 Oct 2017
Conference number: 10


ConferenceAsian Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology
Abbreviated titleACPE
Internet address


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