• You are here: 
  • Home

Welcome to The Clinical Practice Research Datalink

Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is a governmental, not-for-profit research service, jointly funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) , a part of the Department of Health. We have been providing anonymised primary care records for public health research since 1987. Research using CPRD data has resulted in over 1,700 publications which have led to improvements in drug safety, best practice and clinical guidelines. Examples include confirming safety of MMR vaccine, informing NICE cancer guidance, safeguarding use of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy, influencing the management of hypertension in diabetics. CPRD is now also using primary care data in clinical trials. Examples include a real world diabetes studies comparing a new therapy to standard of care, and randomised controlled trials on myocardial infarction and COPD patients.

This e-health secure research service combines the expertise of the MHRA's General Practice Research Database (GPRD) and the Department of Health’s NIHR Research Capability Programme (RCP) which piloted the service over the last four years. CPRD combines the activities of GPRD and RCP.

Researchers using CPRD data and services will benefit from:

  • the unique nature of the NHS as essentially the single provider of health care (free at the point of care)
  • the NHS unique patient identifier - NHS number [It is only used by a trusted third party for linkage and is never released to researchers. It is a benefit in ensuring records can be validly linked within the approved governance process]
  • the NHS Primary Care gatekeeper approach to care
  • a partnership with the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • a partnership with the NIHR Clinical Research Network  
  • the extensive coded Electronic Health Record (EHR) IT systems
  • powerful coding systems
  • data quality markers, developed over many years
  • rapid data query tools even though CPRD data volumes are substantial
  • extensive data & research knowledge of CPRD staff and NIHR partner colleagues via
    CPRD Enquiries

CPRD services will develop incrementally over time increasing the population cover of primary care data and number of linked datasets.

The CPRD provides three key services to academic, pharma/biotech/devices and CRO researchers both in the UK and globally, subject to legal arrangements and approvals:

  • Interventional services and IT systems for clinical trials, bio-sample collections and Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs)
  • Research Services Full Pharmacoepidemiology, Pharmacoeconomics, Outcomes & risk benefit
  • Observational data Access to NHS and other health related data and linked data (suitably anonymised)

Many CPRD services are unique as they offer researchers capabilities which are impossible or hard to gain elsewhere and are provided in a way that gives added value to the research experience and its outputs.