An industry perspective on the use of machine learning in drug and vaccine safety

GlaxoSmithKline, Global Safety ,Durham ,NC ,United States
Painter, Jeffery L.;
GlaxoSmithKline, Global Safety ,Upper Providence ,PA ,United States
Kassekert, Raymond;
GlaxoSmithKline, Global Safety ,Brentford ,Middlesex ,United Kingdom
Bate, Andrew

In recent years there has been growing interest in the use of machine learning across the pharmacovigilance lifecycle to enhance safety monitoring of drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the scope of industry-based research into the use of machine learning for safety purposes. We conducted an examination of the findings from a previously published systematic review; 393 papers sourced from a literature search from 2000–2021 were analyzed and attributed to either industry, academia, or regulatory authorities. Overall, 33 papers verified to be industry contributions were then assigned to one of six categories representing the most frequent PV functions (data ingestion, disease-specific studies, literature review, real world data, signal detection, and social media). RWD and social media comprised 63% (21/33) of the papers, signal detection and data ingestion comprised 18% (6/33) of the papers, while disease-specific studies and literature reviews represented 12% (4/33) and 6% (2/33) of the papers, respectively. Herein we describe the trends and opportunities observed in industry application of machine learning in pharmacovigilance, along with discussing the potential barriers. We conclude that although progress to date has been uneven, industry is very interested in applying machine learning to the pharmacovigilance lifecycle, which it is hoped may ultimately enhance patient safety.


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