Meta-analysis of clinical trial safety data in a drug development program: Answers to frequently asked questions

SAGE: 11/21/12

Background Meta-analyses of clinical trial safety data have risen in importance beyond regulatory submissions. During drug development, sponsors need to recognize safety signals early and adjust the development program accordingly, so as to facilitate the assessment of causality. Once a product is marketed, sponsors add postapproval clinical trial data to the body of information to help understand existing safety concerns or those that arise from other postapproval data sources, such as spontaneous reports.

Purpose This article focuses on common questions encountered when designing and performing a meta-analysis of clinical trial safety data. Although far from an exhaustive set of questions, they touch on some basic and often misunderstood features of conducting such meta-analyses. Read more