Similarity-based modeling applied to signal detection in pharmacovigilance

CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol. 2014 Sep 24;3(9):e137. doi: 10.1038/psp.2014.35.


One of the main objectives in pharmacovigilance is the detection of adverse drug events (ADEs) through mining of healthcare databases, such as electronic health records or administrative claims data. Although different approaches have been shown to be of great value, research is still focusing on the enhancement of signal detection to gain efficiency in further assessment and follow-up. We applied similarity-based modeling techniques, using 2D and 3D molecular structure, ADE, target, and ATC (anatomical therapeutic chemical) similarity measures, to the candidate associations selected previously in a medication-wide association study for four ADE outcomes. Our results showed an improvement in the precision when we ranked the subset of ADE candidates using similarity scorings. This method is simple, useful to strengthen or prioritize signals generated from healthcare databases, and facilitates ADE detection through the identification of the most similar drugs for which ADE information is available.