Acting FDA Commissioner LesterM. Crawford is appealing to thenation's pharmacists, physicians, andother members of the health care communityto assist his agency in makingmedicines safer for patients.
In an address at the United StatesPharmacopeia (USP) Convention, Crawfordoutlined a number of programs currentlyunder way at the agency to reduceadverse reactions to approved drugs, buthe acknowledged that the FDA cannotachieve its goals without help.
Noting that "the urgency of these programsis not matched by our resources," Crawford called on USP members andother health care "allies" to provide additionalsupport for the FDA's efforts.
"One area where your members andother volunteers can be of particularhelp is sending the FDA more data ondrug-associated adverse events," hesaid. "These data, which many of youreceive firsthand from patients, providevital drug safety information forour programs and [are] essential inrestoring the confidence of Americansabout the quality of their medicationand health care system."
For example, Crawford hopes tobuild on existing joint efforts such asthe current information exchangepartnership between the FDA's Med-Watch program and USP's PractitionerReporting Network and MedicationError Program.
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.