Researchers find deadly prescription drug effects 6 years before FDA

The following news release is a corrected version of a news release issued by Northwestern University on May 28, 2007. The original version incorrectly stated "Since (Charles) Bennett launched RADAR in 1998, his research has resulted in black box warnings on billion dollar drugs like Plavix that may have saved thousands of lives."

No black box warning has been issued on Plavix.

CHICAGO -- Northwestern Universitys Charles Bennett, M.D., is a super sleuth of potentially deadly prescription drug reactions. He leads a national SWAT team of doctors called RADAR (Research on Adverse Drug Events and Reports) based out of Northwesterns Feinberg School of Medicine. They swoop in to investigate early signs of trouble years before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes notice.

A new study by Bennett, the A.C. Buehler Professor in Economics and Aging at Northwesterns Feinberg School of Medicine, and a hematologist and oncologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, found RADAR identified serious drug reactions six years earlier than the FDA and drug companies.

RADARs proactive safety efforts and reports also were much more comprehensive than those from the FDA or drug companies, according to the study. RADARs reports provided doctors with important medical insights as well as guidance for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The study was published May 28 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Since Bennett launched RADAR in 1998, his research has resulted in black box warnings on billion dollar drugs that may have saved thousands of lives. He has also provided guidance to help physicians more safely administer drugs. More than 100,000 people die each year from reactions to medications. The FDA is under attack for its passive and inefficient methods of learning about these problems.

Why is RADAR so nimble? Bennetts network includes hematologists and oncologists around the country and the wor

Contact: Marla Paul
Northwestern University

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