Date commenced


Project supporters

National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence grant 2020-2024 APP1196900

Project status


Project contacts

Dr Natasha Donnolley
Project Manager

Professor Sallie Pearson

Project members

Project collaborators: external

  • A/Prof Nicole Pratt - University of South Australia
  • Prof Nicholas Buckley - University of Sydney
  • Prof David Preen - University of Western Australia
  • Prof Louisa Degenhardt - UNSW Sydney, NDARC
  • Prof Kees van Gool - University of Technology Sydney
  • Prof Andrew Wilson - University of Sydney
  • Prof David Henry - Bond University

Associate Investigators

  • Ms Ximena Camacho - UNSW Sydney
  • A/Prof Timothy Dobbins - UNSW Sydney, SPHCM
  • A/Prof Julian Elliott - Monash University
  • A/Prof Chris Etherton-Beer - University of Western Australia
  • A/Prof Tracey Laba - University of Technology Sydney
  • A/Prof Sally Lord - University of Notre Dame
  • Ms Anne McKenzie - Telethons Kids Institute, UWA
  • Prof Debra Rowett - University of South Australia
  • Dr Frank Sanfilippo - University of Western Australia

Project main description

In November 2020, the Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines Intelligence received a $2.5 million five-year grant from the NHMRC for the purpose of delivering evidence on the real-world use and outcomes of medicines in Australia.

The CRE is led by Professor Sallie Pearson from UNSW Medicine’s Centre for Big Data Research in Health and includes ten Chief Investigators and ten Associate Investigators from universities across Australia.  The CRE provides an opportunity for researchers in institutions across the country to collaborate more closely on key research priorities and accelerate the development and translation of evidence about real-world medicine use and outcomes. The CRE was established in recognition of the major health and economic impact from medicine overuse and misuse, and in response to the 2019 announcement by the Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt, that quality use of medicine and medicine safety is a National Health Priority. We will develop a coordinated research program that will accelerate the development and translation of evidence about real-world medicine use and outcomes, leading to major improvements in the quality use of medicines and reductions in medicine-related harm. The CRE plans to develop and deliver new knowledge of medicines in Australia that can be used by regulators and payers, and can be translated directly into policy and practice, improving responsiveness to current and emerging policy imperatives.

We will use population-based linked data and sophisticated designs and analyses to study the association between the effects of medicines, how they are used in practice, and the resultant benefits, harms and costs. We will engage policymakers to develop and scale up sustainable approaches for timely evidence generation and research translation; and we will develop innovative training and on-the-job experience to grow the next generation of research leaders.


The CRE in Medicines Intelligence will bring together Australia’s leading researchers in pharmacoepidemiology and related fields, and key stakeholders to:

    1. Develop optimal pathways, a research-ready ‘big data’ platform, fit-for purpose study designs, and cutting-edge analytical methods to increase the timeliness and efficiency of RWE generation.
    2. Generate and enhance ‘medicines intelligence’ for regulators and payers about the use and outcomes of prescribed medicines in routine clinical care.
    1. Develop formal structures, including a Policy and Translation Reference Group to engage with ‘medicines intelligence’ end-users and an International Scientific Reference Group to strengthen links with the global ‘medicines intelligence’ research community.
    2. Develop a suite of broader activities to engage end-users and the wider community including a Medicines Intelligence Observatory.
    1. Build the ‘medicines intelligence’ workforce, and provide innovative inter-disciplinary training.
    2. Build capacity by providing expert mentoring and career development opportunities for the best and the brightest early career researchers (ECRs).
    3. Build experience through on-the-job training and engaging with ‘medicines intelligence’ end-users.
    1. Foster team integration through strong governance, cross-institutional projects, and joint training opportunities.
    2. Promote intellectual exchange by strengthening and expanding national and international collaborative networks of leading researchers and ‘medicines intelligence’ end-users.

Project research area

  • Value and waste in health care
  • Evaluating polices and programs using linked data
  • Innovative analytic methods for health big data
  • Increasing the use of evidence in policy and practice
  • Drug safety
  • Chronic disease and multi-morbidity