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Strategic Partnership to Aid Real World Evidence (RWE) Studies in Asean

Signed on November 2019, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pfizer Upjohn and Duke-NUS Medical School will assist policymakers and those conducting RWE studies.

With the new partnership between Pfizer Upjohn and Duke-NUS Medical School a RWE studies training curriculum will be established catered for ASEAN policymakers and researchers conducting studies to standardize research methodologies across the region.

For Duke-NUS Medical School, the partnership is significant to the establishment of their initiative’s region Centre of Excellence (CoE) in providing support and leadership through their expertise and knowledge to utilize the expanding amounts of real-world data generated during routine care.

Part of Pfizer Upjohn’s commitment to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in South East Asia, the program will address diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and smoking-related diseases, which are responsible for almost 8.5 million deaths in the region.

The MoU was signed by Jeff Bote, General Manager of Upjohn Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, and Dr David Matchar, Inaugural Director (Emeritus), Health Services and Systems Research Programme of Duke-NUS. The agreement provides for cooperation between the two partners to educate ASEAN policymakers and the conductors of RWE studies around the workings and methodologies, enabling more efficient cross-sharing of knowledge through standardized data sets which will eventually translate into policies for public health.

“This ground-breaking partnership and training curriculum, based on Systems Thinking, will make a real difference to how RWE studies are commissioned and conducted in the region. We are very excited to be partnering with Duke-NUS to establish this initiative given the heightened focus and recognition on the insights derived from real-world data to improve decision making and patient care.” said Jeff Bote. “While this is the first time both organizations are coming together, it will definitely not be the last.”

Dr David Matchar, welcomed the collaboration and said, “It has always been the School’s mission to provide innovative education and impactful research, and this collaboration will help both policymakers and conductors of RWE studies be more knowledgeable and better-equipped to commission and conduct these much-needed programs.”

Training dedicated for policymakers will include a two-day workshop that will provide an overview of a typical RWE study and introduce the various benefits and challenges of commissioning and conducting these programs. A two-week program has been designed for researchers conducting RWE studies will give a comprehensive curriculum on the details of Systems Thinking with a live project.

“Systems Thinking is a core skill in public health and helps policymakers build programs and devise policies that are able to withstand unintended situations. This skill set also includes the knowledge to integrate multiple perspectives and synthesize them into a framework or model that can accurately describe and predict the various ways in which a system might react to policy changes,” said Dr Wee Hwee Lin, Assistant Professor, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

Attendees for the curriculum will be co-invited by both Upjohn and Duke-NUS in the first quarter of 2020. [APBN]