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Mapping Canadian data assets to generate real-world evidence: Lessons learned from Canadian Real-World Evidence for Value of Cancer Drugs (CanREValue) Collaboration’s RWE Data Working Group

Author: Wei Fang Dai, Claire de Oliveira, Scott Blommaert, Reka E. Pataky, David Tran, Zeb Aurangzeb, Cynthia Kendell, Chris Folkins, Chandy Somayaji, Jeff Dowden, Winson Cheung, Erin Strumpf, Jaclyn M. Beca, Carol McClure, Robin Urquhart, James Ted McDonald, Riaz Alvi, Donna Turner, Stuart Peacock, Avram Denburg, Rebecca E. Mercer, Caroline Muñoz, Ambica Parmar, Mina Tadrous, Pam Takhar, Kelvin K. W. Chan
Year: 2022
Category: Health Publications

Read the journal article in Current Oncology

Canadian provinces routinely collect patient-level data for administrative purposes. These real-world data (RWD) can be used to generate real-world evidence (RWE) to inform clinical care and healthcare policy. The CanREValue Collaboration is developing a framework for the use of RWE in cancer drug funding decisions. A Data Working Group (WG) was established to identify data assets across Canada for generating RWE of oncology drugs. The mapping exercise was conducted using an iterative scan with informant surveys and teleconference. Data experts from ten provinces convened for a total of three teleconferences and two in-person meetings from March 2018 to September 2019. Following each meeting, surveys were developed and shared with the data experts which focused on identifying databases and data elements, as well as a feasibility assessment of conducting RWE studies using existing data elements and resources. Survey responses were compiled into an interim data report, which was used for public stakeholder consultation. The feedback from the public consultation was used to update the interim data report. We found that databases required to conduct real-world studies are often held by multiple different data custodians. Ninety-seven databases were identified across Canada. Provinces held on average 9 distinct databases (range: 8–11). An Essential RWD Table was compiled that contains data elements that are necessary, at a minimal, to conduct an RWE study. An Expanded RWD Table that contains a more comprehensive list of potentially relevant data elements was also compiled and the availabilities of these data elements were mapped. While most provinces have data on patient demographics (e.g., age, sex) and cancer-related variables (e.g., morphology, topography), the availability and linkability of data on cancer treatment, clinical characteristics (e.g., morphology and topography), and drug costs vary among provinces. Based on current resources, data availability, and access processes, data experts in most provinces noted that more than 12 months would be required to complete an RWE study. The CanREValue Collaboration’s Data WG identified key data holdings, access considerations, as well as gaps in oncology treatment-specific data. This data catalogue can be used to facilitate future oncology-specific RWE analyses across Canada.

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