1 White Paper Catalysts driving successful decisions in life sciences. The Battle Between Big Data and Big Privacy by Jessica Santos, Ph.D. November 2014
2 Undoubtedly, Big Data is helping researchers beyond their dreams. As one of the most mentioned buzzwords in the market research industry, it is impossible to avoid the phrase Big Data at any major conference, keynote speech or business meeting at the moment. Big Data is promised to yield big savings 1 and is transforming healthcare ; 2 it is certainly the future with its big benefits. 3 However, Big Data comes with a big question privacy. Most data subjects (that is, you and me, ordinary people) are unaware of how our personal data is collected (not only by providing our details while shopping online, but also simply by some browsing activities), stored (in which country), transferred (where will it go) and used (where it is going). Simply asking data subjects to click on lengthy pages of I agree with Terms and Conditions before allowing them to use a service is no longer sufficient from the Federal Trade Commission s (FTC) perspective. The Big Privacy movement already has advocates and increasingly bigger fines. Will Big Privacy kill Big Data? Will consumers let go of their privacy for the benefits of Big Data? Will the few privacy advocates talking about privacy violations reverse the trend? Big Data Data, data, everywhere Some argue that the focus of the Big Data phenomenon has already moved from Should we adapt Big Data into our business? to How can we use Big Data to make our business grow? We have moved from a data-scarce era to an era where we are being flooded with more data than we can comprehend. Undoubtedly, Big Data is helping researchers beyond their dreams: Comprehensive medical records covering a wider population, holistic healthcare evaluation from primary care to secondary care, and multiple perspectives of a single case are all easily available. Expenditure relating to Big Data is expected to grow from $27.7 billion in 2012 to $54.4 billion in 2016, and thanks to Big Data 4.4 million jobs will be created globally by Big Data will benefit not only the private sector but also large public authorities like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which already has plans for their Big Data ambitions. 5 SEER-Medicare a combination of National Cancer Institute registry data and enrollment and claims data from Medicare has allowed researchers to calculate the risk of hospitalization after prostate biopsy, the cost of breast cancer recurrence and other healthcare metrics. Such studies have implications for the commercial success of drugs but exist beyond the control of pharma companies. By working with the holders of real-world data, drug developers can at least ensure they know how their products fit into treatment pathways. This can ensure companies are prepared in the event a third party presents data questioning the safety or efficacy of a drug. The FDA now has access to a wealth of safety data with the Mini-Sentinel database, which contains records on more than 178 million individuals, 4 billion medication dispensing and 4.1 billion unique medical encounters as of July The data is currently helping the FDA assess rates of bleeding among patients taking Boehringer-Ingelheim s Pradaxa. The FDA might be able to identify groups of high-risk patients by diving in Big Data. The FDA set up the database in the wake of safety concerns involving Merck s arthritis drug Vioxx. The FDA is also making raw downloads and application programming interfaces (APIs) of adverse events data available publicly.
5 For more information, please visit About Kantar Health Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world s leading pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device and diagnostic companies. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development knowhow, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership. Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Our advisory services, built on a solid foundation of market research and data, span three areas critical to bringing new medicines and pharmaceutical products to market commercial development, clinical strategies and marketing effectiveness. Kantar Health operates in more than 40 countries and employs more than 600 healthcare industry specialists and practitioners, including a high number of medical doctors, epidemiologists, PhDs, PharmDs and pharmacists, and biologists, biochemists and biophysicists. We work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, and are experts at bringing multiple stakeholders together to advance the commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Our team acts as catalysts to successful decision making in the life sciences industry, helping our clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. Kantar Health is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. About the Author Jessica Santos, Ph.D. Dr. Jessica Santos is the Global Compliance Director in Kantar Health, the largest custom market research company focused on the life sciences industry. She is primarily responsible for providing oversight and support across the 40+ Kantar Health global offices in the areas of regulation, interaction with clients, suppliers and others within Kantar Health, Kantar and WPP. Dr. Santos is responsible for maintaining, anticipating and coordinating all activities with regard to compliance laws/regulations, industry guidelines, pharamcovigilance and client contracts, defining and driving the execution of Kantar Health s Quality Strategy our approach to measuring and improving our quality efforts. Dr. Santos is an experienced statistician, analyst, methodologist and market research scientist. She gained her reputation through her publications and professional committee work in the industry. She is a frequent speaker and contributor in major conferences and has a Ph.D. in Marketing, an MRS fellowship and Chartered Marketer status. Dr. Santos is a member of UK Research Ethics Committee, EphMRA, BHBIA and PMRG Government Affairs Committee, reviewer and co-chair of ISPOR, and MRS Professional Development Advisory Board and Examiner. If you would like us to act as catalysts for you, contact us at
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