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Welcome to ACARD


ACARD (Automated Claims and Medical Record Databases) is a core in the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research and Training (CPeRT) of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB). It was created to foster epidemiologic research into therapeutics, using large population-based automated claims databases (Medicaid/Medicare), medical records databases (GPRD™ and The Health Improvement Network [THIN]), clinical data from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Data Store, PDS), and the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database.


  1. Encourage investigators with diverse training to conduct studies focused on translational therapeutics and drug safety
  2. Provide access to large databases that allow for rapid and cost-effective research on therapeutics and drug safety
  3. Foster collaboration with CTSA sites outside of Penn who wish to use these databases for clinical research

ACARD services:

  • Provide consultation during planning stages and during the conduct of their research;
  • Assist investigators with preliminary feasibility queries (e.g., obtaining frequency counts of patients with a given disease or medication exposure);
  • Assist investigators in applying for data use agreements where necessary;
  • Assist applicants in writing research proposals to make sure the study is informed by in-depth understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each data resource
  • Provides access to the needed hardware and software in an environment supported by expert faculty supervision.
  • Provide access to a library of statistical and programming resources for executing studies within the available electronic databases
  • Provide weekly tutorials in the use of THIN and PDS (THIN User Group  and PDS User Group)

Databases currently available through ACARD:


Availability of Pilot Data

ACARD can provide de-identified pilot data from GPRD, THIN, Medicaid/Medicare, or PDS to Penn investigators seeking to apply for extramural funds.

Contact information:

  • Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Epidemiology and of Pharmacology
    Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research and Training (CPeRT)

Updated 8/14/13

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