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Guidelines for the use of Secondary Data

BHBIA Guidelines for the Use of Secondary Data
NEW series of guides now available

What are the BHBIA Guidelines for the Use of Secondary Data designed to do?

To provide clear guidance on the legal and ethical implications of using secondary data for market research and associated business intelligence purposes such as database building or customer relationship management.  This protects you, your data and those that provide the data.

What do they include?

  • Guidance upon the collection, processing and storage of secondary data for the UK healthcare market.  Secondary data refers to data collected for one purpose that is then re-used for another purpose.
  • The guidance includes data protection requirements.
  • The guidance tells you what you must and mustn’t do! We make a distinction between actions that we advise you to take and those that are compulsory. When we’re advising, we say should. When it’s compulsory (e.g. when something is a legal requirement), we say must. 

Who’s this for?

  • If you’re involved in using secondary data for pharmaceutical or healthcare market research or business intelligence purposes
  • If you’re working in or for a BHBIA member company

How will it help?

You have the key information you need when working with secondary data to help make sure that things go smoothly from a legal and ethical point of view.  By using this guidance, you can minimise the chance of things going wrong, which wastes time and could even lead to prosecution. 

  • Avoid breaking the law
  • Avoid ethical errors
  • Avoid damaging your professional reputation

And you can gain in positive ways too:

  • Find information quickly, saving time and money
  • Impress colleagues with your knowledge and expertise
  • Create consistency across your work

Our aim is to produce a series of short guides that will eventually be consolidated into one document to create a comprehensive set of key guidelines for important aspects of the legal and ethical implications of using secondary data.

To date, 14 guides have been developed - click on the links below to download these in print-ready PDF format:

And for the latest resources to help you prepare for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) see GPPR Updates

We hope you’ll find the guides helpful and it would be great if you’d let us know what you think by contacting us with your feedback on the current guides and/or suggestions for future topics.

(If you have a query about the guidelines - or any legal or ethical query about UK healthcare business intelligence that's not answered in the guidelines - please use the guidelines Request Advice form - full BHBIA members only)

What about Market Research?

Although the focus of the guides is on secondary data, the principles of handling personal data apply to primary market research too.

For detailed guidelines on conducting primary market research:

Please click on the 'Related Links' on the right hand side of this page, for the BHBIA's Legal and Ethical Guidelines for Healthcare Market Research and the ABPI/BHBIA Guidance notes on the collection of adverse events and product complaints from market research programmes.

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