Scientists propose database on pharmaceuticals to protect the public
Scientists this week urged creation of a public database on pharmaceuticals that would identify product risks and dangers much earlier. Their article was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. They pointed to Vioxx--which increased the risk of heart attack or stroke among users by 39 percent--as an example of how the federal database would same money and lives. The authors believe that a proper meta-analysis of Vioxx would have identified its risks two years earlier. The drug manufacturing industry rejects the suggestion, and Dr. Michael Steinman of the medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, pointed to "this kind of dogma in medicine that you shouldn't use any drug for the first seven years after it's released, because it takes that long to figure out its harms and benefits."