PharmacoEpidemiology and Drug Safety (PharmaSafe)

Medications are an essential aspect of health care. The PharmacoEpidemiology & Drug Safety Research Group covers a wide range of research activities related to optimal use and safety of medication on an individual and societal level. We use epidemiological methods to address questions of drug safety that cannot be studies in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Our work includes monitoring of drug utilization in pregnancy, perception towards medicines, methodology research, analysis of medication safety on patient outcomes and health economics.

The research group is multidiciplinary and has expertise in pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, biostatistics, health economics and pharmacotherapy.

Pharmacoepidemiological studies

Data material comes from large population-based health registries, birth cohorts as well as patient interviews. Medication safety in pregnancy is a main research focus as pregnant women are rarely included in clinical studies of ethical reasons. As a consequence drugs are often marketed with a general clausal against use during pregnancy. Despite this, several diseases require pharmacological treatment during pregnancy and pregnant women often use medication before they know they are pregnant. The need of evidenced based information about the safety of medication during pregnancy is therefore great. We still know little about the reasons for low birth weight, prematurity, stillbirths, malformations and perinatal complications, though several studies suggest that exposures during pregnancy may contribute to these negative pregnancy outcomes. Medication groups of special focus are psychotropics, analgesics and antibiotics.

Clinical pharmacy & pharmacotherapy

Research projects include patient surveys to assess risk perception, attitude towards medication and adherence to medication in a range of areas (i.e. migraine, depression, pregnancy). Research activities also include medication reviews within a clinical pharmacy setting to identify and solve drug related problems.

Role of the pharmacist

Research projects include the role of the pharmacist in the health care system in several ways, e.g. as perceived by pharmacists or other involved stakeholders.

Team members at School of Pharmacy

  • Professor Hedvig Nordeng
  • Professor Anne Gerd Granås
  • Associate Professor Ingunn Björnsdottir
  • Post doc Angela Lupattelli
  • Post doc Kristina Gervin
  • PhD student Gerd Marie Eskerud Harris
  • PhD student Johanne Naper Trønnes
  • PhD student Bich Thuy Truong
  • PhD student Lene Maria Sundbakk
  • PhD student Eirin Guldsten Robinson
  • PhD student Sarah Hjorth Andersen
  • PhD student Alma Mulac
  • PhD student Elin Ngo
  • PhD student Fatima Tauqeer
  • PhD student Emilie Willoch Olstad
  • Senior Researcher Eivind Ystrøm
  • Senior Researcher Robert Lyle
  • Lecturer Anne Røv-Johnsen
  • Administrative contact Laila Torstveit
  • Lecturer Anne Gyri Glørsen
  • Lecturer Vedrana Rosic
  • Lecturer Hassina Hassan
  • Guest researcher Mollie Wood
  • Guest researcher Hilde Ariansen

External PhD students: 

  • PhD student Anette Vik Jøsendal
  • PhD student Kjerstin Havnes (UiT)
  • PhD student Siri Amundsen (UiT)
  • PhD student Seid Mussa (MedFak, UiO)

Visiting researchers 2018

  • Dr. Debra Kennedy, MotherSafe, the NSW Statewide Medications in Pregnancy And Lactation Advisory Service at the Royal Hospital for Women, Australia
  • Professor Kate Lapane, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA
  • Dr. Shao-Hsien Liu, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA
  • Dr. Rebecca Bromley, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
  • Dr. Ksenia Zagorodnikova, North-western State Medical University named after I.I.Mechnikov, Russia
  • Sonia Roldan, European Medicines Agency, UK

Visiting researchers 2017

  • Senior advisor Gro C Havnen, Regional Drug Information Services Sør-Øst​

Visiting researchers 2016

  • Dr. Jacqueline Cohen, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA

Visiting researchers 2015

  • Dr. Herbert Juch, Research Unit Human Teratogens, TIS Graz, Austria
  • Dr. Michael Twigg, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK
  • Richelle Vlenterie, Department for Health Evidence, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud university medical center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

National team members

  • Professor Olav Spigset, St Olav’s hospital, Trondheim
  • Associate professor Lone Holst, University of Bergen (UiB)
  • Senior scientist dr. med. Malin Eberhard-Gran, National Institute of Public Health (FHI)
  • Senior advisor Gro C Havnen, Regional Drug Information Services Sør-Øst
  • Advisor Helle Lindland-Tjønn, Regional Drug Information Services Sør-Øst
  • PhD student Siri Amundsen, Universitetssykehuset Nord Norge (UNN)
  • PhD student Elin Høien Bergene, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Dr. Kristine Heitmann, Regional Drug Information Services Vest 


The research group has close collaborations with:

  • Center for Better Beginnings, UC San Diego, USA 
  • Center for Pharmacy, University of Bergen
  • Social pharmacy, University of Tromsø
  • University hospitals in Norway (Rikshospitalet, OUS, UNN, St. Olav’s hospital, Akershus)
  • Division for Mental Health, National Institute of Public Health, Norway
  • Regional Drug Information Services
  • University of Reykjavik, Iceland
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • University of Umeå, Sweden
  • University of Tromsø, Norway
  • Motherisk program, Hospital for Sick Children/University of Toronto, Canada
  • University of Massachussets, Worcester, USA
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

The following are collaborators in the multinational Medication in Pregnancy project:

  • Debra Kennedy MD, MotherSafe, Royal Hospital for Women and University of NSW, Randwick, Australia
  • Katri Hameen-Anttila PhD, Finnish Medicines Agency, Helsinki, Finland
  • Ann-Charlotte Mårdby, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Göteborg University, Sweden
  • Ksenia Zagorodnikova MD PhD, Northwest Medical Center for Drug Safety in Pregnancy, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Marina Petrić PhD research fellow, Faculty of pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Gorazd Rudolf MD, Division of Medical Genetics, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Herbert Juch MD, Research Unit Human Teratogens, TIS Graz, Austria
  • Alice Panchaud MD, Division de Pharmacologie Cliniques, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland
  • Mariola Drozd, PhD in pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
  • Michael Twigg, Research Pharmacist, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
  • Myla Moretti, MD, The Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Romana Gjergia, MD, Genetic Counselling with Teratogen Information Service TIS, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Anneke Passier, Teratologie Informatie Service Lareb, TIS Netherlands
  • André Rieutord, Pharmacien-Chef, Hôpital Antoine Béclère / Service Pharmacie, Paris, France
Published Mar. 22, 2016 2:10 PM - Last modified Nov. 27, 2019 11:02 AM