Luis A. García Rodríguez obtained his medical degree at the University of Alicante in 1984, his MPH degree at the Free University of Brussels in 1986 and his MSc degree in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1988. From that date, his career has been dedicated to epidemiologic evaluation of drug safety and effectiveness: pharmacoepidemiologic research. He first joined Ciba-Geigy’s department of medicine in Switzerland to start the Pharmacoepidemiology Unit, a first in industry at that time, building new research programs that led to a series of publications. From 1992 to 1994, he worked at one of the pioneering research centers in drug epidemiology, the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program. He was also appointed as Assistant Professor of Public Health at Boston University. In 1994, he returned to Spain to establish the Centro Español de Investigación Farmacoepidemiológica (CEIFE). The mainstay of work at CEIFE is the use of large computer-based information resources that provide the information required to perform large-scale pharmacoepidemiologic research. Main areas of interest have been the evaluation of NSAIDs, antithrombotic drugs and PPIs in relation to gastrointestinal disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer and use of effects of direct oral anticoagulants. Diabetes and glucose lowering drugs have been another important focus of research. CEIFE together with the Spanish Medicines Agency has been responsible to develop BIFAP, an automated primary care database similar to THIN in the UK. Currently, the total number of individuals available is well over 5 millions and is administered by the Spanish Medicines Agency. CEIFE has also published studies using administrative healthcare databases of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region (about 1,200,000 inhabitants) in Italy, and regional and national databases in Denmark. Recently, we started collaborating with researchers in Colombia who have access to Audifarma database. Audifarma is the largest drug dispenser in Colombia, and delivers medications to close to 5 million people which constitutes approximately 14% of the country’s population. The number of original research publications is close to 400.
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