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End of free access to database will shrink UK generated research, says expert

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 10 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:c7455
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The end of an agreement that allowed UK researchers direct access to a database of anonymised patient records from general practices will have a detrimental effect on research generated in the United Kingdom, a primary care expert has said.

Azeem Majeed, professor of primary care and head of the department of primary care and public health at Imperial College London, told the BMJ that the licence agreement between the Medical Research Council and the general practice research database (GPRD), the world’s largest primary care database, was “very useful in allowing UK researchers to make greater use of the [database].” He described the end of the scheme as “disappointing.”

He added, “The UK has one of the highest uses of electronic patient records in primary care, and these records [have been a] great resource for biomedical …

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