Performing pharmacoepidemiological studies using the French health insurance data warehouse (SNDS): How to translate guidelines into practice

Therapie. 2023 Jan 28;S0040-5957(23)00026-4. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2023.01.009. Online ahead of print.


The French health insurance data warehouse named SNDS is one of the largest medico-administrative in the world allowing for powerful pharmacoepidemiological studies, based on real-life data collected prospectively. In addition to the absolute necessity of a strong pharmacological rationale, recommendations have been thought to improve the quality of pharmacoepidemiological studies. These guidelines emphasize the importance of an accurate definition of the study population, outcome and exposure, especially for studies performed on medico-administrative databases. Compliance with certain guidelines, particularly those concerning the identification of a specific population or an outcome and the definition of risk periods or exposure periods, may be difficult when performing studies on the SNDS because of its structure and the nature of the data recorded. The objective of this article is to provide advice for the conduct of pharmacoepidemiological studies according to the recommendations when using the SNDS, given its specificities. The performing of reliable studies from this rich but complex data warehouse requires the expertise of researchers with deep knowledge both in the SNDS and in pharmacological reasoning.

Keywords: French National Health Data System; Guidelines; Pharmacoepidemiology.