Guidance on the implementation and reporting of a drug safety Bayesian network meta-analysis

Pharm Stat. 2014 Jan-Feb;13(1):55-70. doi: 10.1002/pst.1592. Epub 2013 Aug 30.


The Drug Information Association Bayesian Scientific Working Group (BSWG) was formed in 2011 with a vision to ensure that Bayesian methods are well understood and broadly utilized for design and analysis and throughout the medical product development process, and to improve industrial, regulatory, and economic decision making. The group, composed of individuals from academia, industry, and regulatory, has as its mission to facilitate the appropriate use and contribute to the progress of Bayesian methodology. In this paper, the safety sub-team of the BSWG explores the use of Bayesian methods when applied to drug safety meta-analysis and network meta-analysis. Guidance is presented on the conduct and reporting of such analyses. We also discuss different structural model assumptions and provide discussion on prior specification. The work is illustrated through a case study involving a network meta-analysis related to the cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Keywords: drug safety meta-analysis; mixed treatment comparisons; multiple outcomes; network meta-analysis; prior sensitivity; rare events; reporting Bayesian analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal