Advancing a Framework for Regulatory Use of Real-World Evidence: When Real Is Reliable

Article

May 4, 2018
Advancing a Framework for Regulatory Use of Real World Evidence
By: Nancy Dreyer

There is growing interest in regulatory use of randomized pragmatic trials and noninterventional real-world (RW) studies of effectiveness and safety, but there is no agreed-on framework for assessing when this type of evidence is sufficiently reliable. Rather than impose a clinical trial–like paradigm on RW evidence, like blinded treatments or complete, source-verified data, the framework for assessing the utility of RW evidence should be grounded in the context of specific study objectives, clinical events that are likely to be detected in routine care, and the extent to which systematic error (bias) is likely to impact effect estimation. Whether treatment is blinded should depend on how well the outcome can be measured objectively.