Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 658–662 | Cite as

A novel method for signal detection of adverse drug reactions based on proportional reporting ratios

  • Jian-Xiang Wei
  • Ming Li
  • Yue-Hong Sun
  • Ye Lu
  • Hou-Ming XuEmail author
Research Article


Objective The proportional reporting ratio (PRR) is a statistical method for signal detection of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) based on unbalanced proportions. Although effective, this method only takes into account the proportional relation based on target adverse reactions and ignores the relation between a given ADR and the others for the same drug. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the calculation deviation in PRR. In this study, we developed a novel PRR (NPRR) method and compared it with the original PRR method for the purpose of a combined application of these two methods for ADR signal detection. Methods NPRR is also based on unbalanced proportions, in which the proportion for a given ADR is linked to a specific drug (or all other drugs), and then divided by the corresponding proportion for all other ADRs. Results Applying this method to the ADR data of Jiangsu Province, China in 2008 and 2009, we detected 3,021 signals. Compared with the PRR method, the sensitivity of our method is 0.99, the specificity is 0.97, and the Youden index is 0.96. Conclusion NPRR is an excellent method supplementary to PRR. The combination of these two methods can reduce calculation deviation and detect ADRs more effectively.


Adverse drug reactions Drug safety Signal detection Methodology 



We would like to thank Mr. Zichun Fang for editing this manuscript.


This study was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (09CTQ022) and the 6th Project of Six Industries of JiangSu Province of China (09-E-016).

Conflicts of interest

None to be declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian-Xiang Wei
    • 1
  • Ming Li
    • 2
  • Yue-Hong Sun
    • 3
  • Ye Lu
    • 2
  • Hou-Ming Xu
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceNanjing College for Population Program ManagementNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Center for ADR MonitoringJiangsu NanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Mathematical SciencesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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