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October 4, 2006

Drug Safety Monitoring

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(13):1590. doi:10.1001/jama.296.13.1590-a

To the Editor: The Commentary by Dr Strom1 points out several of the problems with the current drug safety monitoring system and offers several suggestions for improving the system. One recommendation calls for the use of independent and complementary nongovernmental organizations in the process of drug safety.

We believe that certified poison control centers (PCCs) fit this requirement and can significantly enhance postmarketing drug surveillance. Poison control centers are staffed with health care professionals trained to obtain detailed medication-related information and health histories, document calls, perform triage, assist in treating patients who are experiencing adverse drug reactions, follow up on outcomes, and perform surveillance. Acting as a focal point for the reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions would be consistent with the public health and surveillance activities currently performed by PCCs.