FDA drug prescribing warnings: is the black box half empty or half full?
ABSTRACT Black box warnings (BBWs) are the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) strongest labeling requirements for high-risk medicines. It is unknown how frequently physicians prescribe BBW drugs and whether they do so in compliance with the warnings. The purpose of the present study was to assess the frequency of use of BBW medications in ambulatory care and prescribing compliance with BBW recommendations.
This retrospective study used automated claims data of 929 958 enrollees in 10 geographically diverse health plans in the United States to estimate frequency of use in ambulatory care of 216 BBW drugs/drug groups between 1/1/99 and 31/6/01. We assessed dispensing compliance with the BBW requirements for selected drugs.
During a 30-month period, more than 40% of enrollees received at least one medication that carried a BBW that could potentially apply to them. We found few instances of prescribing during pregnancy of BBW drugs absolutely contra-indicated in pregnancy. There was almost no co-prescribing of contra-indicated drugs with the two QT-interval-prolonging BBW drugs evaluated. Most non-compliance occurred with recommendations for baseline laboratory monitoring (49.6% of all therapy initiations that should have been accompanied by baseline laboratory monitoring were not).
Many individuals receive drugs considered to carry the potential for serious risk. For some of these drugs, use is largely consistent with their BBW, while for others it is not. Since it will not be possible to avoid certain drug- associated risks, it will be important to develop effective methods to use BBWs and other methods to minimize risks.
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ABSTRACT: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses the Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) to support post-marketing safety surveillance programs. Currently, almost one million case reports are submitted to FAERS each year, making it a vast repository of drug safety information. Sometimes cited as a limitation of FAERS, however, is the assumption that "stimulated reporting" of adverse events (AEs) occurs in response to warnings, alerts, and label changes that are issued by the FDA. To determine the extent of "stimulated reporting" in the modern-day FAERS database. One hundred drugs approved by the FDA between 2001 and 2010 were included in this analysis. FDA alerts were obtained by a comprehensive search of the FDA's MedWatch and main websites. Publicly available FAERS data were used to assess the "primary suspect" AE reporting pattern for up to four quarters before, and after, the issuance of an FDA alert. A few drugs did demonstrate "stimulated reporting" trends. A majority of the drugs, however, showed little evidence for significant reporting changes associated with the issuance of alerts. When we compared the percentage changes in reporting after an FDA alert with those after a sham "control alert", the overall reporting trends appeared to be quite similar. Of 100 drugs analyzed for short-term reporting trends, 21 real alerts and 25 sham alerts demonstrated an increase (greater than or equal to 1 %) in reporting. The long-term analysis of 91 drugs showed that 24 real alerts and 28 sham alerts demonstrated a greater than or equal to 1 % increase. Our results suggest that most of modern day FAERS reporting is not significantly affected by the issuance of FDA alerts.Drug Safety 09/2014; 37(11). DOI:10.1007/s40264-014-0225-0 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most important classes of prescription drugs used by primary care physicians to manage pain. The NSAID class of products has a somewhat controversial history, around which a complex regulatory and informational environment has developed. This history includes a boxed warning mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for all NSAIDs in 2005. We investigate the impact that various information shocks have had on the use of prescription medications for pain in primary care in the USA. We accomplish this by extracting data on nearly 600 000 patients from a unique nationwide electronic medical record database and estimate the probability of any active prescription for the four types of pain medications as a function of FDA actions, advertising, media coverage, and patient characteristics. We find that even after accounting for multiple sources of information, the FDA label changes and boxed warnings had a significant effect on pain medication prescribing. The boxed warning did not have the same impact on the use of all NSAID inhibitors. We find that the boxed warning reduced the use of NSAID COX-2 inhibitor use, which was the focus of much of the press attention. In contrast, however, the warning actually increased the use of non-COX-2 NSAID inhibitors. Thus, the efficacy of the FDA's black box warning is clearly mixed. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Health Economics 07/2014; DOI:10.1002/hec.3067 · 2.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Drug risk management has many tools for minimizing risk and black-boxed warnings (BBWs) are one of those tools. Some serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) emerge only after a drug is marketed and used in a larger population. In Thailand, additional legal warnings after drug approval, in the form of black-boxed warnings, may be applied. Review of their characteristics can assist in the development of effective risk mitigation. This study was a cross sectional review of all legal warnings imposed in Thailand after drug approval (2003-2012). Any boxed warnings for biological products and revised warnings which were not related to safety were excluded. Nine legal warnings were evaluated. Seven related to drugs classes and two to individual drugs. The warnings involved four main types of predictable ADRs: drug-disease interactions, side effects, overdose and drug-drug interactions. The average time from first ADRs reported to legal warnings implementation was 12 years. The triggers were from both safety signals in Thailand and regulatory measures in other countries outside Thailand.Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 10/2014; 71(1). DOI:10.1016/j.yrtph.2014.10.013 · 2.14 Impact Factor