MedWatch Offers Safety Alerts via Text

OncologyLive, May 2010, Volume 5, Issue 0510

The FDA has added text messaging to the ranks of e-mail digests, RSS feeds, podcasts, and Websites that comprise MedWatch, the agency's safety information and adverse event reporting program.

The FDA has added text messaging to the ranks of e-mail digests, RSS feeds, podcasts, and Websites that comprise MedWatch, the agency’s safety information and adverse event reporting program. The free 6-month pilot program sends registrants 3 to 5 weekly safety alerts. Signing up for MedWatch texts can keep busy oncologists informed on FDA safety concerns regarding medications, vaccines, and medical devices. Messages can be tailored during registration to suit individual needs. According to MedWatch medical director Norman S. Marks, MD, MHA, the service is the first step toward delivering targeted, patient-specific information that can be used to impact decisions at the point of care. The FDA’s ultimate aspiration, Marks said in a press statement, is for drug-specific safety alerts to coordinate with patients’ electronic health records. To sign up for the service, text FDA in the body of the message to 87000. While the FDA does not charge subscribers to participate in this pilot program, standard text messaging rates from the subscriber’s wireless carrier may apply. For more information on MedWatch, visit www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm.