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FDA, Health Organizations to Study Safety of Medications Taken During Pregnancy
Date:12/30/2009

New collaborative research program to study effects on mothers and their babies

SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new research program called the Medication Exposure in Pregnancy Risk Evaluation Program (MEPREP) will fund research to study the effects of prescription medications used during pregnancy. The program is a collaboration among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and researchers at the HMO Research Network Center for Education and Research in Therapeutics (CERT), Kaiser Permanente's multiple research centers and Vanderbilt University.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090824/FDALOGO)

About two-thirds of women who deliver a baby have taken at least one prescription medication during pregnancy according to a journal article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. There are very few clinical trials that test the safety of medications in pregnancy due to concerns about the health of the mother and child.

"This program is a great example of FDA and the private sector working together to improve the health of pregnant women and their children," said Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner of Food and Drugs. "These data will guide regulatory policy and influence medical practice."

To overcome the challenges presented by the lack of clinical trial data about the use of medications during pregnancy, the research program will link health care information for mothers and their babies in each of the participating research sites. Collectively, the 11 participating sites have health care information for about 1 million births over the past seven years (2001-2007). Many of the mothers associate
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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