The Medicines Intelligence (MedIntel) Data Platform is an enduring data platform, established to undertake population-based studies examining the use, safety and (cost)effectiveness of prescribed medicines. 

Population spine

The MedIntel Data Platform cohort (N=7,821,610) comprises Medicare-eligible persons (ascertained from the Medicare Consumer Directory) who were aged ≥18 years and resided in NSW at any time from 1 January 2005 until 31 December 2020. The cohort will be updated annually. 

Linkage and data collections

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the NSW Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL) undertook the linkage using best practice privacy preserving protocols.  The content data comprised Commonwealth and New South Wales routinely collected health data (see list below).

  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (2002-2022)
  • Herceptin Program (2001-2015) 
  • Medicare Benefits Scheme (2002-2015)
  • National Death Index - Fact of death (2002-2022)
  • National Death Index - Cause of Death (2002-2020)
  • NSW - Admitted Patient Data Collection (2002-2022)
  • NSW - Emergency Department Data Collection (2005-2022)
  • NSW - Cancer Registry (1972 – 2019)


This research program has ethical approval from: (1) AIHW Human Research Ethics Committee (AIHW HREC) (approval number EO2021/1/1233); (2) NSW Population and Health Services Research Ethics Committee (PHSREC) (approval number 2020/ETH02273). Individual research projects conducted under this ethical approval require the submission of an amendment to the PHSREC along with an AIHW s29 form, for each person requiring data access, prior to commencement (approval within 2-4 weeks).  

Data storage

The data are housed in the Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE), managed by the Sax Institute. SURE is a safe setting offering data controls meeting the highest data governance and security requirements. Housing the data in SURE adheres to the Five Safes framework—safe people, projects, settings and outputs. All access and data analyses are via the SURE.

If you wish to access the MedIntel Data Platform you will need to work with the MedIntel team to: 

  1. Discuss project feasibility and alignment with the HREC approval; 
  2. Submit a one-page Expression of Interest using a standard template;
  3. Agree on project resourcing and costs; 
  4. Submit a PHSREC (and AIHW s29) ethics amendment using a standard template;
  5. Apply for a SURE workspace and complete SURE training. 

Contact details:

For all inquiries, documentation and templates please contact the Data Manager, Medicines Intelligence Research Program, Melisa Litchfield.


The establishment of the MedIntel Data Platform was funded by the UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines Intelligence.

Costing Model

Please contact the Data Manager, Medicines Intelligence Research Program, Melisa Litchfield.