Quintiles says it is going to use data from electronic medical records to help determine how medicines are used and the effectiveness of those medications.

The move also means more jobs at Quintiles with the formation of a research and analysis team to tackle the data.

The world’s largest life science services firm said Monday that it had acquired the rights to 40 million EMRs from a variety of providers.

The records have been “de-identified” to protect personal information, Quintiles said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Most of the EMRs are coming from U.S.-based health systems and medical practices, Quintiles explained. More countries are expected to be added to the data providers.

The acquisition of what Quintiles described as “real world” data should help companies, health care providers and governments better understand how medicines perform. 

“Biopharma and governmental organizations need more clinically rich data to better evaluate the safety, effectiveness and value of healthcare products and services in actual clinical practice,” said Richard Gliklich, president of Quintiles Outcome, in a statement. That group is what Quintiles described as its “real-world and late phase division.”

“These recent agreements, and our plans to add research experts who have worked with these data over many years, provide Quintiles with a critical mass of high-quality and clinically rich patient-level data to find answers to research questions more rapidly,” he added.

“I believe access to these data by experienced researchers also will promote more efficient clinical trial planning and design, patient recruitment, and other clinical development services.”

The new analysis team will focus on:

  • Outcomes research
  • Health economics
  • Epidemiology
  • Medical informatics
  • Quality reporting
  • Pricing
  • Reimbursement

Data will be studied in prospective and retrospective fashion, Quintiles said.