Acting FDA Commissioner Lester
M. Crawford is appealing to the
nation's pharmacists, physicians, and
other members of the health care community
to assist his agency in making
medicines safer for patients.
In an address at the United States
Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention, Crawford
outlined a number of programs currently
under way at the agency to reduce
adverse reactions to approved drugs, but
he acknowledged that the FDA cannot
achieve its goals without help.
Noting that "the urgency of these programs
is not matched by our resources,"
Crawford called on USP members and
other health care "allies" to provide additional
support for the FDA's efforts.
"One area where your members and
other volunteers can be of particular
help is sending the FDA more data on
drug-associated adverse events," he
said. "These data, which many of you
receive firsthand from patients, provide
vital drug safety information for
our programs and [are] essential in
restoring the confidence of Americans
about the quality of their medication
and health care system."
For example, Crawford hopes to
build on existing joint efforts such as
the current information exchange
partnership between the FDA's Med-
Watch program and USP's Practitioner
Reporting Network and Medication
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.