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Petition Asks FDA to Make it Easier for Patients to Report Side Effects from Prescription Drugs
Date:1/30/2008

llected by the FDA, even though drug reactions account for nearly 700,000 emergency room visits each year. And studies indicate that millions of people suffer side effects potent enough to lead them to stop taking a drug.

Drug makers are required to report adverse events to the FDA. Yet doctors and patients - those with the most direct experience with side effects - seldom report them, and little is done by the FDA to make consumers more aware of the importance of reporting side effects. An Institute of Medicine report found that in 2004, only 21,500 of the 423,000 adverse event reports that year came from doctors and patients.

"The average TV viewer spends about 100 minutes watching drug ads for every minute spent in a doctor's office. What better way than to let consumers know how to report a problem with their medications than to put a phone number or Web address in those ads?" said Liz Foley, grassroots coordinator with Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports.

Consumers can sign the petition by logging onto http://www.PrescriptionforChange.org, a website of Consumers Union.


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SOURCE Consumers Union
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