4th Meeting of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network Steering Committee (DSEN SC) – Minutes

Meeting: 4th Meeting of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network Steering Committee (DSEN SC)
Date: Wednesday November 30th, 2011
Time: 12:30 – 3:30 (EST)
Location: Teleconference
Dial-in: 613-960-7513 (direct number); 1-877-413-4788 (toll free)
Passcode: 30-80-864#

  • Graham, Ian (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Berthelot, Jean-Marie (Canadian Institute for Health Information)
  • Hoffman, Abby (Health Canada)
  • McArthur, Diane (Ontario Public Drug Programs)
  • Nakagawa, Bob (British Columbia Ministry of Health)
  • O'Rourke, Brian (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health)
  • Peterson, Robert (Ex-officio, Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Robitaille, Lucie (Institut National d'Excellence en Santé et en Services Sociaux (INESS) du Québec)
  • Turner, Chris (Health Canada)
  • Wells, Diane (Nurse and Health IT Consultant, Saskatchewan)
  • Wilhelm, Linda (Patient Advocate)
Invited Experts:
  • Roos, Noralou (Manitoba Centre for Health Policy)
  • Mitton, Craig (Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation)
  • Dionne, François (Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation)
  • Glover, Paul (Health Canada)
  • Gray, Jean (Dalhousie University)
  • Laupacis, Andreas (University of Toronto)
  • Brochu, Christian (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Forbes, Diane (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Jorge, Elisabeth (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Yasari, Siham (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

1. Call to Order and Welcome

1.1. Welcome

1.2. Conflict of Interest declarations

No Conflicts of Interest were identified.

1.3. Approval of the June 10, 2011 Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes were approved with minor modifications.

1.4. Approval of Agenda


2. Business Arising

It was suggested that an update on the CIHR policy for COI be placed on the forward agenda. No other items were identified.


3. DSEN Status Update:

3.1. DSEN newly funded Collaborating Centres and Research Teams

The DSEN Steering Committee (Committee) was informed that as of September 1st, 2011 the DSEN was composed of 150 researchers operating under three Collaborating Centres, having national coverage.

In addition to the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES), six new teams had been funded by CIHR.

The Collaborating Centre for Prospective Studies now comprises three teams:

  • Active Surveillance and Evaluation of Adverse Reactions in Canadian Healthcare (DSEN-SEARCH) / Bruce Carleton (NPI, University of British Columbia)
  • Canadian Network for advanced interdisciplinary methods for comparative effectiveness research (CAN-AIM) / Michal Abrahamowicz (NPI, McGill)
  • Pharmacogenomics of Adverse events National Team (PREVENT) / Michael Hayden (NPI, University of British Columbia)

The Collaborating Centre for Network Meta-analysis comprises three teams with complementary strengths:

  • Team for Network Meta-Analysis (TNMA) / George Wells (NPI, University of Ottawa)
  • Knowledge Synthesis Research Unit (KSRU) / Sharon Straus (NPI, University of Toronto)
  • Network Meta-Analysis team (NETMAN) / David Moher (NPI, University of Ottawa)

The Committee was informed of the collaborating researchers' national distribution. The funded teams have established histories of collaboration with international investigators, emphasizing their ability to conduct research of international caliber. It was also noted that there is an identified gap in research expertise within Canada in the area of innovative RCT design.

4. Network activities

4.1. October 28, 2011 Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network meeting

On October 28, 2011, the DSEN Coordinating Office held the first Network meeting. The Committee was provided with information on this successful meeting including the objectives, agenda and outcomes of the day's proceedings.

This meeting of representatives from the funded DSEN teams brought together the NPIs in order to strengthen a common vision for DSEN collaboration, share best practices, understand their teams' individual capabilities and obtain a better understanding of the other teams involved, including their methodologies and demonstration projects. The day also provided an opportunity to begin a dialogue amongst the teams on their respective training components and their ability to engage their methodological expertise in development of a National Curriculum of use to their trainees.

A report of the Oct 28, 2011 network meeting will be made available on the CIHR/DSEN website.

4.2. Advancement of Demonstration Projects All

Dr. Peterson described that applicant teams were asked to propose demonstration projects within the context of the Team Grant funding opportunities. Demonstration projects were included so peer review would identify not only a strong team, but also a justifiably functional team. This was seen as assisting peers in evaluating the capability of the teams to fulfill the objectives of DSEN. The Committee was impressed with the variation of projects in terms of both spread across the safety and effectiveness mandate of DSEN as well as in terms of the project types and topics.

The Committee acknowledged the following research projects as valuable to decision makers, adding them to the DSEN research agenda:

Comparative Effectiveness of anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor agents versus traditional disease-modifying agents in reducing orthopedic surgery in rheumatoid arthritis
Identification of pharmacogenomic markers of Anthracyclin ‐ induced heart failure in children
Implementation of pharmacogenomics to identify patients at risk of Statin-induced myopathy
Safety of inhaled Corticosteroid use in children and in pregnancy
Simulation study of consistency of direct and indirect evidence
Cognitive enhancers in dementia and MCI
Safety and Effectiveness of new oral Anti-coagulants compared to Warfarin or low molecular weight Heparin in preventing stroke and other Cardiovascular events in patients with atrial fibrillation

5. MCDA Prioritization Process

Following on the recommendation of the Committee in June, 2011, the DSEN Coordinating Office struck a Working Group (WG) to develop a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) framework for use in prioritizing Queries sent to DSEN. Craig Mitton and François Dionne, the facilitators for the Working Group, presented the results of the WG's efforts to date, providing both the context in which MCDA is valuable to priority setting by advisory committees and details on the development process. The Committee gave feedback on the work to date, and advised that the WG continue with a next stage to apply the MCDA criteria developed to existing DSEN Queries.

6. Performance measurement for DSEN researchers

Following on a request for information on performance measurement for DSEN researchers, the Committee was presented on CIHR's policies on research reporting and the mechanisms available within the organization for the collection of interim and end of grant reporting. The Committee was also provided with a mapping of how this information will roll up into reports and evaluation activities for their information and to support CIHR and the DSEN program.

7. Open discussion


8. Next Steps

The next DSEN SC Meeting will be held in Ottawa on January 20th, 2012.

Meeting Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 2:55 pm.

Actions Items for DSEN

Circulate Report of the October 28, 2011 Network Meeting.

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