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Evaluation of NLP to support Medical Coding in Adverse Event Report Processing at CSL Behring

For processing of adverse event reports, the information provided by a reporter in natural language is transferred (coded) into a standardized format to allow database processing. For the adverse event, indication, medical history, etc. the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities – MedDRA must be used. Most of the coding is manually and time consuming. Only when the verbatim exactly matches a MedDRA term coding is automatic (currently about 30%).

Natural language processing (NLP) is programming computers to process and analyze natural language data, to recognize relevant content and act up-on it in a specific way. E.g. recognize a verbatim as an adverse event and assign a respective MedDRA code.

CSL Behring’s Global Clinical Safety & Pharmacovigilance department (GCSP) have set-up a proof of concept project to evaluate the potential of Natural Language Processing to support Medical Coding. Real life data was used to cover for the specific nature of their patients suffering from rare diseases.

In this webinar, we provide an overview of the project and its results as well as an outlook on the next steps for integrating NLP into medical coding during adverse event processing.


  • Martin A.O.H. Menke, Global Medical Coding Lead, CSL Behring, Marburg, Germany
  • Ian Lewin, Principal NLP Specialist, Linguamatics
  • Jane Z. Reed, Director Life Science, Linguamatics

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