Frequency Analysis of Spontaneous Reports from Different Countries: The Example of Continental Western Europe
Careful descriptions and definitions of events to be observed and related by hypothetic formulae and quantification of such relations are the basis of any scientific activity. There is a trivial but important statement researchers were taught as students: The first thing a scientist must learn to do is count. Ciba-Geigy, in its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, has since the 1960s maintained a central drug monitoring department that supports and coordinates the efforts of its group companies all over the world. In 1986 pharmacoepidemiologic activities were stepped up considerably, creating a separate section of pharmacoepidemiology that is relieved from the everyday efforts of case report analysis, documentation, and reporting to regulatory agencies. The drug’s exposure can be estimated from sales, but it is also a function of drug utilization, meaning dosage and treatment duration, data that is only partially available through current marketing research.