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Taking a Predictive Approach to Identifying Adverse Drug Reactions
Date:12/21/2011

BOSTON, Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a move aimed at bolstering current systems for assessing and monitoring drug safety, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have created a new method that combines multiple forms of widely available data to predict adverse drug reactions. Unlike current approaches, which rely on detecting evidence of drug safety issues as they accumulate over time in clinical databases, this new method may be able to identify issues years in advance.

This study, led by Aurel Cami, Ph.D., and Ben Reis, Ph.D., of Children's Hospital Boston's Informatics Program (CHIP), appeared online December 21 in Science Translational Medicine.

The safety of drugs in the market is currently assessed through a combination of adverse drug event (ADE) reporting and data mining tools designed to detect previously unrecognized drug-ADEs relationships. While generally effective, these methods may not be able to flag the presence of certain types of ADEs until patients have been on the drug for some time.

Because of these limitations, it can take years before physicians and regulators accumulate enough data to recognize serious safety problems with a particular drug and take appropriate action.

To help address these delays and the public health risks associated with them, Reis and Cami set out to create a mathematical model for predicting drug-ADE relationships that might likely appear within a few years of a drug's entry into the market.

"This approach allows us to make the important transition from detection to prediction," said Reis, who leads the Predictive Medicine Group within CHIP. "We can potentially identify a dangerous drug side effect early on, instead of having to wait for sufficiently many patients to be affected by it in order to allow for detection."

"Given the myriad of entities and complex relationships that exist in the pharmacological domain, we felt that a network-based ap
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SOURCE Children's Hospital Boston
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