I don’t know about you but I have never understood how drug companies are able to sell drugs where a side effect can be death. I mean seriously people why are they allowed to do this, and not only that but advertise those drugs with their double speed side effects disclaimers on television. It is no wonder we are living in a world where prescription drugs are the drug du jour for kids and where the things the drugs are suppose to be fighting are fighting back; and winning.
Of course the big pharma companies only let you know what side effects a drug might have under duress and public pressure; because we all know the government and the FDA wouldn’t do squat about the problem without that pressure; and even when they let you know it is the barest details that are hidden away in the small print.
When it comes to the drugs that we are told that we need in order to stop our legs from shaking or our scalp to stop itching we have no easy way to know what they are, what side effects they have, or how prevalent the danger of those drugs are.
Well, a new start-up in California called AdverseEvents is looking to change that and in the process they are going to cause many a drug company executive some sleepless nights.
AdverseEffects has created a centralized database of how many side effects have been reported from what drugs, as well as what the patient outcomes have been, which according to co-founder Brian Overstreet is scaring the crap out of the pharmaceutical companies.
“The FDA has some of this [side effect] data, but it’s unstructured, not searchable, and not standardized,” explains Overstreet. AdverseEvent’s proprietary algorithm, which took 18 months to build, takes into account data from the FDA, direct patient reporting, and even information from social media sites (AdverseEvents analysts are alerted to side effect discussions on patient discussion boards, for example, and try to extract data).
AdverseEvents also has an internal alert system, so that the company can track potentially dangerous side effects and alert the FDA if necessary.
The result: a clean, easy-to-read database for both health-care professionals and patients.
To give you an idea, here are the results for Lipitor, a drug that the doctor says I need to take. First AdverseEvents gives a break down of the drug, its known names, manufacturer, and common conditions: