“See drug side effects reported to the FDA by people like you.”
During the #FDASM process, in which the US Food and Drug
Administration solicited testimonies, presentations, and public discussion about social media in health care, its potential uses and appropriate management, one of the biggest recurring topics was using social media to more quickly identify side effects and negative outcomes of new drugs and medical devices. Many different ideas were suggested, and this tool, DrugCite, seems to include a few of them.
What this does is provide an easily searchable and accessible way to discover, graph, and use FDA data on how different medications have had ill effects on people. The slogan implies that it pulls
specifically from reports from individuals, but based on what I was seeing, I suspect it pulls data from all reports to the FDA, no matter whether they originated with the patient or the professional.
The graphs and charts are excellent, and very clear. You can also browse more deeply into the data from the charts and graphs, as many of them are interactive. This is very nice.
Perhaps most exciting to me was the way DrugCite walks people through the process of reporting an “adverse event,” when a med is doing something to you that makes things worse instead of better. This was one of the most requested features in the #FDASM conversations.
I’m also impressed with the range of tools they provide to support the process. They have a mobile version, an app, an iGoogle gadget (which is almost a shame, since iGoogle is disappearing, to my sadness), and more.
In their words:
“Since this is a public database and useful to prescribers and patients alike to know if “has what I’m experiencing been described in patients taking this drug before?” DrugCite has created a more friendly interface to answer that question. Use of this data should in no way be confused with the FDA’s rigorous process of evaluating the potential link of adverse events to drugs as causal but merely represents a portal into what is currently being reported to the Agency.”