A Couple Of Recent Offerings From Our Readers, For Your Consideration
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
As you will see, we have two readers who emailed me recently to thank for today's post.
First, Sally Thompson sent an email to let me know that "25 Shocking Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry" had been published on the Nursing Online Education Database web site. This interesting article by Laura Milligan starts out as follows:
Researching and snagging an adequate, wallet-friendly health care plan is tough these days, despite its high-profile presence in political debates. A large part of the controversy over expensive health costs stems from criticism of high-priced medications marketed by powerful pharmaceutical companies. From Medicare fraud to CEOs worth billions of dollars, big drug companies are accused of putting profits above patients, spinning false PR campaigns and more. We've uncovered 25 of the most shocking facts about the pharmaceutical industry in this list.
The 25 facts presented are wide-ranging and even-balanced; here's the last one, for example:
Pharmaceutical Companies donated millions to Hurricane Katrina relief programs: Americans are used to bashing pharmaceutical companies, just as they criticize health insurance companies, rising gas prices and monopolies. It may come as a shock, then, to discover the philanthropic efforts undertaken by big drug companies. Medical News Today writes that companies like Abbott, Eli Lilly, Merck, Pfizer and others have donated millions of dollars in cash and supplies to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Each of the 25 facts is linked to the source material used by the author so if you want to learn more about any of the items all you need to do is click-thru for more information.
This article by Laura Milligan on the Nursing Online Education Database site is worth a read by people interested in the doings -- good, bad, and ugly -- of Big Pharma.
Moving back in time, last week Paul N. Danese, Ph.D., the co-founder of FDAble LLC, contacted me after seeing a comment I had left on another site regarding Consumer Union's proposal for a consumer-based adverse-events reporting system.
Dr. Danese wanted to bring to my attention his company's adverse drug events search engine at FDAble.com, which allows one to access and search the vast compilation of data which the FDA obtains from MedWatch reports that the agency receives.
Here's how Dr. Danese described this search tool to me:
FDAble allows users to search all modern U.S. FDA-related adverse events (Q4 1997 to Q3 2007).
Users may search for adverse-events by drug name, outcome, patient age, weight and other metrics.
All searches are free. We also offer a yearly subscription service, which allows users to generate an unlimited number of custom adverse event reports.
The FDAble.com search page interface is clean and conspicuously shows this disclaimer:
FDAble is not associated with the Food and Drug Administration.
The search results from the FDA adverse drug events database are, due to their nature, probably of more use to researchers than consumers and patients.
What is remarkable, based on my experience doing drug injury litigation over the years, is that this information is now so readily available. It use to be the case that one had to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FDA for this type of data -- and, believe me, that was a very, very slow process.
Anyone with a need to review the FDA's MedWatch database for reports of side effects concerning a particular prescription drug will greatly appreciate this new search tool at FDAble.com. We thank Dr. Danese and his company for their efforts in getting this much needed service online and, moreover, letting us use it for free.
If you have any information or news relevant to the topics covered here on Drug Injury Watch, please feel free to contact me using the link in the sidebar.