What is CNODES

Since its creation in 2011, the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES) has built an extensive network of over 100 scientists, including pharmacoepidemiologists, clinicians, statisticians, data analysts and other researchers to ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs for Canadians. By establishing partnerships and negotiating data access with each province, CNODES studies have access to administrative healthcare data on millions of medication users across the country as well as internationally: the UK CPRD and the US MarketScan. CNODES, a collaborating core network partner of CoLab, is funded for query-related activity by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH, Grant #C222 360). From 2011-2022, CNODES was a collaborating centre of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN) and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, Grant #’s DSE-11856 and DSE-146021).

In addition to supporting answers to drug safety queries from Canadian regulators, funding from CADTH supports two main teams: Database development, and Knowledge Translation. These teams contribute to strengthening Canadian research capacity through their initiatives and projects. Researchers and trainees in the Methods Team have collaborated to make significant methodological advances in the field of pharmacoepidemiology. Meanwhile, CNODES members have also worked together to develop processes, guides and protocols which standardize the research process across the network and improve efficiency in answering incoming queries on drug safety and effectiveness.

Our Work

Our studies carried out in response to queries from our government partners have examined widely-used drugs, such as drugs for the treatment of diabetes, for gastrointestinal conditions and for pain killers, among many others. The results of these studies have important public health implications and have been published in highly ranked peer-reviewed international journals, benefitting not only Canadians, but patients worldwide. Read more about our work on the Projects page.


Despite Canada’s extensive drug approval process, an estimated 150,000 Canadians are hospitalized and 10,000 die yearly from adverse drug reactions to prescription drugs. Adverse drug effects were found to account for 12% of emergency department visits. In Canada, the majority of studies on drug safety and effectiveness in the marketplace have been conducted as individual initiatives at the provincial level. As these studies are often based on relatively small populations, they are limited in what they can achieve – especially when looking for rare serious adverse events, for the study of drugs used to treat infrequent diseases, or for the study of the effects of newly introduced drugs.

CNODES Brochure

Coming soon.