IBM MarketScan Research Databases

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Strengthen your go-to-market strategy with real-world data, analytics and outcomes research.

Life sciences organizations must substantiate the need for and value of their treatments to healthcare providers, payers and patients — and this requires integrated, patient-level evidence that spans the continuum of care.

IBM® MarketScan® Research Databases can help by providing one of the longest-running and largest collections of proprietary privately and publicly insured, de-identified claims data in the US. 

Data, tools and services options designed for life sciences

  • De-identified medical, drug, and dental claims for more than 265 million patients
  • Laboratory results
  • Productivity data — workplace absence, short- and long-term disability, and workers’ compensation
  • Health risk assessments (HRA)
  • Hospital discharges
  • Electronic medical records (EMR) 

You can gain insights from this data in the formats that work best for your organization — including licensing proprietary data with or without IBM integrated analytic tools and working with the IBM services team. These options can help you efficiently and confidently demonstrate the clinical and commercial value and viability of your treatments.

Products And Services

  • Databases and data sets - Three core claims databases, a hospital discharge database and an EHR database. Linked databases, data sets and files combine claims with other data.
  • Analytic tools - Cloud-based software — no programming skills required — to cut research time, map treatments and estimate market sizes and opportunities.
  • Services - Health economics and outcomes research to gain insights from real-world evidence using global data, rigorous design and advanced methodologies.

Analyzing cost offsets

Use case: Researchers compared real-world cost data from the MarketScan Databases for two different prescription therapies for depression: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).

Findings: Data showed that the two-year average cost of the TCAs was lower, but the overall cost of treatment for patients using TCAs was higher.

Quantifying vaccine outcomes

Use case: CDC researchers used the MarketScan Databases to conduct a retrospective, population-based study on the impact of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.

Findings: Data showed that hospitalizations declined by 88 percent and ambulatory visits by 59 percent from 1994 to 2002. Estimated direct medical expenditures declined by 74 percent — a savings of USD 62.8 million.

Evaluating economic costs

Use case: Researchers leveraged MarketScan HRA and Health and Productivity Management (HPM) Databases to quantify the economic implications of obesity in the US.

Findings: Analysis of patient-level direct and indirect costs from claims and HPM data showed that severely obese patients had higher overall healthcare costs and lost more work time than normal weight individuals.

Estimating indirect costs

Use case: Researchers examined the association between non-adherence to bipolar medications and lost productivity.

Findings: Data showed that only 35.3 percent of patients adhered to their medication, and that non-adherent patients had higher adjusted indirect costs. Hypothetically, an employer could save USD 578,378 if all employee patients who were prescribed a bipolar medication adhered to their treatments.


  • Simplify research and analysis
  • Explore real-world costs
  • Expand and enhance research
  • Develop customized insights
  • Broaden scope and improve accuracy
  • Follow data across health plans
  • Research unique patient populations
  • Rely on a trusted partner