Are you curious as to many other people have had the same side effects as you have to your prescriptions? What about how your drug compares with similar drugs?
Of course the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has millions of reports, ranging from fatigue to fatal heart attacks, on thousands of prescription drugs dating back to 1969. But the information hasn’t been readily accessible—until now.
Two start-up companies, AdverseEvents Inc. and Clarimed LLC, launched in September. AdverseEvents Inc. has streamlined the FDA’s database and made it easy to just search the adverse-event reports for more than 4,500 drugs online while Clarimed LLC has done the same for reports filed with the FDA on 130,000 medical devices, a far more complex group that runs the spectrum from syringe and stents to tanning beds and diagnostic machines. This could impact tens of thousands of lives.
These companies see their services as empowering patients, many of whom now arrange Internet discussion boards for medical information. “If your doctor tells you to take a drug and it’s three times more likely to give you a heart attack than another drug, not having that information seems foolish,” says AdverseEvents President and co-founder Brian Overstreet.
“Searching for Side Effects.” Wall Street Journal. (2012) <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203920204577193052426275904.html?mod=rss_Health>.