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A Medical Informatics Grand Challenge: the EMR and Post-Marketing Drug Surveillance

A Medical Informatics Grand Challenge: the EMR and Post-Marketing Drug Surveillance

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Published by scotsilv8078
A grand challenge is a fundamental problem whose solution requires significant increases in
scientific knowledge and technical capabilities. Drug post-marketing surveillance, the early
detection of unexpected adverse side effects caused by newly available drugs, is a significant
issue of great social and economic import. Such activities are currently inadequately performed
due to significant technical, scientific, industry and societal difficulties, and this has harmed
patients and the pharmaceutical industry, an important component of the healthcare system and
the economy. Utilizing the emerging national EMR to improve drug post-marketing surveillance
is an approachable medical informatics grand challenge with significant potential benefit to
multiple stakeholders including patients, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare payers and
government. This paper discusses the difficulties, challenges and possibilities for joint industry-
academic medical informatics collaborations in this domain.
A grand challenge is a fundamental problem whose solution requires significant increases in
scientific knowledge and technical capabilities. Drug post-marketing surveillance, the early
detection of unexpected adverse side effects caused by newly available drugs, is a significant
issue of great social and economic import. Such activities are currently inadequately performed
due to significant technical, scientific, industry and societal difficulties, and this has harmed
patients and the pharmaceutical industry, an important component of the healthcare system and
the economy. Utilizing the emerging national EMR to improve drug post-marketing surveillance
is an approachable medical informatics grand challenge with significant potential benefit to
multiple stakeholders including patients, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare payers and
government. This paper discusses the difficulties, challenges and possibilities for joint industry-
academic medical informatics collaborations in this domain.

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Published by: scotsilv8078 on Feb 15, 2009
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05/10/2014

 
Silverstein EMR & Drug Post-Marketing Surveillance
Page 1 of 36
Title:A Medical Informatics Grand Challenge: the EMR and Post-Marketing Drug Surveillance
Scot M. Silverstein, MDAssistant Professor of Healthcare Informatics and ITCollege of Information Science and TechnologyDrexel UniversityPhiladelphia, PA 19104Tel: (215)895-1085Scot.Silverstein@ischool.drexel.edu
 Correspondence:
Scot M. Silverstein, MDAssistant Professor of Healthcare Informatics and ITCollege of Information Science and TechnologyDrexel University3141 Chestnut StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19104Tel: (215)895-1085Scot.Silverstein@ischool.drexel.edu
 
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Silverstein EMR & Drug Post-Marketing Surveillance
Page 2 of 36
Abstract
A grand challenge is a fundamental problem whose solution requires significant increases inscientific knowledge and technical capabilities. Drug post-marketing surveillance, the earlydetection of unexpected adverse side effects caused by newly available drugs, is a significantissue of great social and economic import. Such activities are currently inadequately performeddue to significant technical, scientific, industry and societal difficulties, and this has harmedpatients and the pharmaceutical industry, an important component of the healthcare system andthe economy. Utilizing the emerging national EMR to improve drug post-marketing surveillanceis an approachable medical informatics grand challenge with significant potential benefit tomultiple stakeholders including patients, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare payers andgovernment. This paper discusses the difficulties, challenges and possibilities for joint industry-academic medical informatics collaborations in this domain.
Keywords
Drug IndustryProduct Surveillance, PostmarketingDrug SafetyDrug ToxicityAdverse effects (qualifier)Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
 
United States Food and Drug AdministrationMedical RecordsMedical Informatics
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Silverstein EMR & Drug Post-Marketing Surveillance
Page 3 of 36
Introduction
A
grand challenge
is a fundamental scientific or technologic problem whose solution requiressignificant increases in current levels of scientific knowledge and/or technical capabilities.Solutions should improve the health of the population and be achievable in a decade
1
. Anapproachable grand challenge in Medical Informatics, of great benefit to the health of thepopulation and of current high visibility, is leveraging the developing national electronic medicalrecord (EMR) and healthcare IT infrastructure for pharmaceutical post-marketing surveillance;that is, improving early detection of drugs released to market that cause unforeseen, unwantedharmful side effects (adverse drug events or AE’s).In 2004 the U.S. government announced support for development and implementation of anationwide, interoperable health information technology infrastructure to improve the qualityand efficiency of health care
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.
In the same year, several high-profile drug safety cases raisedconcerns about the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manage issues raisedby adverse drug events
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. These drug safety cases have had significant legal, financial andreputational repercussions upon the pharmaceutical industry, a major worldwide industry of greatimportance to public health and the economy. At the intersection of these two issues there existcompelling synergies for improvement of drug and patient safety.In its 2007 report “The Future of Drug Safety: Promoting and Protecting the Health of thePublic”, the Committee on the Assessment of the US Drug Safety System of the Institute of Medicine has written that:
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