Medication Use and Clinical Outcomes by the Dutch Institute for Clinical Auditing Medicines Program: Quantitative Analysis

J Med Internet Res. 2022 Jun 23;24(6):e33446. doi: 10.2196/33446.


Background: The Dutch Institute for Clinical Auditing (DICA) Medicines Program was set up in September 2018 to evaluate expensive medicine use in daily practice in terms of real-world effectiveness using only existing data sources.

Objective: The aim of this study is to describe the potential of the addition of declaration data to quality registries to provide participating centers with benchmark information about the use of medicines and outcomes among patients.

Methods: A total of 3 national population-based registries were linked to clinical and financial data from the hospital pharmacy, the Dutch diagnosis treatment combinations information system including in-hospital activities, and survival data from health care insurers. The first results of the real-world data (RWD) linkage are presented using descriptive statistics to assess patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Time-to-next-treatment (TTNT) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: A total of 21 Dutch hospitals participated in the DICA Medicines Program, which included 7412 patients with colorectal cancer, 1981 patients with metastasized colon cancer, 3860 patients with lung cancer, 1253 patients with metastasized breast cancer, and 7564 patients with rheumatic disease. The data were used for hospital benchmarking to gain insights into medication use in specific patient populations, treatment information, clinical outcomes, and costs. Detailed treatment information (duration and treatment steps) led to insights into differences between hospitals in daily clinical practices. Furthermore, exploratory analyses on clinical outcomes (TTNT and OS) were possible.

Conclusions: The DICA Medicines Program shows that it is possible to gather and link RWD about medicines to 4 disease-specific population-based registries. Since these RWD became available with minimal registration burden and effort for hospitals, this method can be explored in other population-based registries to evaluate real-world efficacy.

Keywords: cancer; medicines; quality of care; real-world data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Health Services
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Registries