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Facilities

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MAECON has access to a range of state-of-the-art facilities that include labs, tools, databases and networks involved in adherence measurement and interventions. These include the following.​​​

Analytical laboratory, hospital pharmacy and clinical trial support  

MAECON offers a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory which has validated methods available for drug concentration determination in blood, urine and hair samples. Expertise and equipment include tandem mass spectrometry liquid-chromatography (LC-MS/MS). The lab serves as the key lab for MAECON studies involving quantification of drug adherence using human samples. The lab is based at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacology of the UMCG and headed by prof. dr. Daan J. Touw. The Department also hosts the certified hospital pharmacy of the UMCG, the UMCG clinical trial support unit and has its own drug production facility.

Databases  

Pharmacy dispensing database linked to the LifeLines cohort

MAECON can offer access to the largest pharmacy dispensing database in the northern Netherlands. The pharmacy database comprises dispensing data from approximately 600,000 patients from more than 60 community pharmacies in the northern part of the Netherlands. The coverage is approximately 20% of the inhabitants of the northern provinces. All patients are included regardless of type of insurance and is therefore representative for the total population. Longitudinal data have been collected for almost 25 years since 1994 and each patient is uniquely tracked in the system. The database provides virtually complete medication records, except for OTC drugs and medication dispensed during hospitalization. Since 2017, pharmacy dispense data are linked to the Groningen LifeLines cohort study and multiple adherence studies using the database have been performed. The database is coordinated by prof. dr. Eelko Hak, one of MAECON's members who is based at the University of Groningen, department of Pharmacy, Unit of Pharmaco-epidemiology & Economics.

Primary care clinical database

MAECON can offer access to a large primary care database that includes patients with type 2 diabetes. The Groningen Initiative to Analyse Type 2 diabetes Treatment (GIANTT) project is a regional collaborative between healthcare professionals and scientists aiming to optimize the quality of care for patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. Since 2004, anonymized routine primary care data from over 50,000 patients with type 2 diabetes type 2, including prescriptions, morbidity and laboratory data, is collected, stored in a research database and analyzed. The overall goal is adequate and efficient care for these patients. Of note, GIANTT has been used in several medication adherence studies. The GIANTT database is led by MAECON member prof. dr. Petra Denig and is hosted by the University Medical Center Groningen.

NIVEL databases

Through MAECON's members that work part-time at the Dutch NIVEL research institute, MAECON can offer access to several national primary care databases. These include the NIVEL primary care database, panels of healthcare users, healthcare professionals and the Nursing Staff Panel. These databases are coordinated by prof. dr. Liset van Dijk and dr. Marcia Vervloet.

Clinical networks  

General practice network

MAECON works closely together with the General Practitioners Research Institute (GPRI). GPRI is a spin-off from the UMCG and is led by MAECON member dr. Janwillem Kocks. GPRI is an independent research institute that performs primary care research in collaboration with general practitioners in the Groningen region and beyond. All participating GP practices have staff that completed Good Clinical Practice research courses and work according to the Helsinki rules. The GPRI network has over 80,000 patients that can be included in primary care based research.

Community pharmacy network

MAECON works closely together with a local community pharmacy organization (i.e. the Groninger Apotheken Vereniging (GAV)). The GAV is an association of about 70 community, ambulant and hospital pharmacies in the region of Groningen and Northern Drenthe. The association serves as a platform for regional pharmacists and participates as representative of pharmacists in several research proposals. One of the primary tasks and interests of the GAV is development of further training tools and the provision of educational programs for pharmacists in the region of Groningen, including those focusing on enhancing medication adherence. The GAV has participated in previous adherence research projects in collaboration with the University of Groningen and has committed itself as one of the partners of MAECON.