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PhRMA Web Site Features New Drug/Patient Safety Info

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2007  —Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin today issued the following statement regarding improvements to PhRMA’s home page.

“In an effort to better educate patients, caregivers and other health care stakeholders, PhRMA has upgraded its Web site with expanded sections on drug safety and patient safety. Ensuring the safety of patients is the highest priority of America’s pharmaceutical research companies, and access to accurate, user-friendly information and education plays a crucial role.

“America’s medicine supply is the world’s safest. As a result of the combined efforts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and pharmaceutical research companies, about 97 percent of medicines approved for patient use in the past 20 years have remained on the market, while only about 3 percent have been withdrawn for safety reasons. Patients, health care providers, policymakers and the media need to know this, but more importantly, they need to understand why and how.

“The new ‘Safety’ section on PhRMA’s Web site provides the answers to these questions, explaining in understandable, accessible terms how drug safety monitoring is an ongoing process that begins long before a medicine enters the marketplace and continues long after it is made available to patients.

“Central to the information posted on the site is a set of four core principles expressing PhRMA member companies’ commitment to the development and continued monitoring of safe and effective medicines. The principles are:
  • Patient safety is our highest priority. We need a strong and effective FDA with the resources and personnel necessary to ensure the safety of the U.S. drug supply and continued access to innovative medicines.
  • Patient welfare should be at the center of any effort to enhance drug safety and ensure that benefit and risk are balanced.
  • Drug safety and effectiveness monitoring must be comprehensive and continuous. PhRMA supports efforts that seek to continually improve these activities.
  • Patients and health care providers must have accurate, timely, and useful information on which to base their decisions.

“These key themes are reflected throughout the ‘Safety’ section on Accompanying materials include an overview of the medicine monitoring process and an easy-to-read summary and interactive illustration of how drug safety is evaluated throughout a drug’s life cycle, from early discovery through post-market monitoring.

“As part of PhRMA’s ongoing efforts to promote safe medicine use and help empower and educate patients, the ‘Patient Safety’ section of the site includes a ‘My Health Information’ form that enables patients to keep track of their prescribed medicines and other key information relevant to their health care. The form can be downloaded and completed electronically, or printed out and completed by hand.

“Also available on the site are clear answers to frequently asked questions about drug safety, user-friendly information to help patients maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of their medicines, and resource links for both patients and health care providers. Additional medicine safety and patient safety resources will be added to the site in the future.

“PhRMA continually looks for new and better ways to serve the patients who use the medicines researched and developed by our member companies, and our evolving web presence reflects those efforts.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures.

PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $43 billion in 2006 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.

Posted: May 2007