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
  • Researcher Angela Lupattelli
  • Researcher Helle Wallach Kildemoes
  • Postdoc Christian Page
  • Postdoc Thi Hong Nhung Trinh
  • Postdoc Socheat Cheng
  • Lecturer Anne Gyri Gløersen
  • Lecturer Anne Røv-Johnsen
  • Lecturer Hilde Iren Samdal
  • Lecturer Hassina Hassan
  • Lecturer Vedrana Rosic
  • Administrative contact Laila Torstveit
  • PhD student Alma Mulac
  • PhD student Bich Thuy Truong
  • PhD student Eirin Guldsten Robinson
  • PhD student Elin Ngo
  • PhD student Emilie Willoch Olstad
  • PhD student Fatima Tauqeer
  • PhD student Gerd Marie Eskerud Harris
  • PhD student Johanne Naper Trønnes
  • PhD student Lene Maria Sundbakk
  • PhD student Sarah Hjorth Andersen
  • Senior Researcher Eivind Ystrøm
  • Visiting researcher Justine Benevent
  • Guest researcher Kristina Gervin
  • Guest researcher Mollie Wood

External PhD students: 

  • PhD student Anette Vik Jøsendal

Visiting researchers 2020

  • Marleen Van Gelder, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology / scientific coordinator of the Pregnancy and Infant DEvelopment (PRIDE) Study, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Julia do Amaral, Departamento de Genética – UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Nhung Trinh, researcher, Pierre Louis Doctoral School of Public health, epidemiology and biomedical information sciences, University of Paris, France.
  • Justine Bénévent, assistant Professor, Perinatal and reproductive pharmaco epidemiologi, Toulouse University Hospital, France

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

Guest lecturers 2019

  • Sally Rafie, Pharm D. UC San Diego Health, San Diego, California. Sally held two lectures May 7 and 8th with the support of NFIF funding.                                                                           1) Digital revolution in medicines management. One-day seminar in collaboration with Sykehusapotekene HF.                               2) Making the Case for Direct Access to Contraception in Pharmacies in collaboration with OsloMet.
  • Merete Schmiegelow. Patient engagement in medicines - R&D and entire life cycles. Honorary Ambassador in Regulatory Science at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Prof. Robert Platt, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Canada, gave a guest lecture on ‘Methodological challenges in perinatal pharmacoepidemiology’, September 12, 2019
  • Luke E Grzeskowiak, NHMRC Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Adelaide, presented his research projects on pharmacotherapeutics and perinatal and neonatal care, October 14, 2019


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 (OUS, UNN, St. Olav’s hospital, Akershus)
  • 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
  • University of Massachussets, Worcester, USA
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA
Published Mar. 22, 2016 2:10 PM - Last modified Jan. 7, 2021 6:17 PM