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Is There Enough Drug Safety Information

Is There Enough Drug Safety InformationTufts Study Finds Less Than Half Of Drug Trials Adequately Report Adverse Side Effects.

Boston [02.12.01] While researchers may be quick to point out the potentially benefits of drugs undergoing clinical trials, a new Tufts study found that they spend very little time explaining the drugs' potentially dangerous side effects.

"The report... finds that medical journals devote, on average, a third of a page to safety information -- such as potentially dangerous side effects," Reuters reported. "That's on par with the space typically devoted to contributor names and affiliations, the authors note."

The study, conducted by Tufts' Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis and the New England Medical Center's Dr. Joseph Lau -- examined almost 200 drug trials.

"Of seven major categories of drug therapy studied -- including drugs for HIV, high blood pressure and heart attacks -- the authors were unable to find even one example in which safety reporting could be deemed 'satisfactory,'" Reuters reported.

The pair of researchers found that an enormous amount of safety information and "adverse effects data" was often collected -- but little of that information even makes it to the pages of medical journal articles.

"The selective filtering of all these data into a quarter page can hardly be adequate," the pair wrote.

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