Adverse Effect Drug Data and Failed Medical Device Information Online

Two start-up companies have taken on the important task of compiling and publicizing data that has been maintained by the Food and Drug Administration for years. The data concerns adverse effect reports concerning pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. The latter is especially important for consumers since the United States still has no medical device registry system in place that tracks the history and performance of medical devices. This type of data is most useful in tracking medical devices such as failed artificial hip devices such as the DePuy ASR XL, the DePuy Pinnacle, and the Zimmer Durom Cup hip devices.
According to the Wall St. Journal, “A start-up company, AdverseEvents Inc., has streamlined the FDA’s often impenetrable database and made it easy to search the adverse-event reports for more than 4,500 drugs, free and online.
Another start-up, 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 gamut from syringes to stents to tanning beds and diagnostic machines that could impact tens of thousands of lives.
Both companies, which launched in September, see their services as empowering patients, many of whom now comb 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.
While basic searches will remain free, AdverseEvents plans to charge consumers $10 a month for access to full drug reports starting Wednesday, and will offer health-care professionals and businesses more detailed information for additional fees. Clarimed may follow suit. Both websites offer a way to file reports to the FDA, but few visitors have done so.”