Pfizer Inc announced today the launch of a new interactive online educational resource designed to give healthcare professionals, medical students, patients, patient advocates and the general public more information about medicine safety, and, in turn, more confidence when making decisions about appropriate treatment options.
We want to increase understanding of the industryÂ™s system for ensuring medicine safety, said Dr. Joseph M. Feczko, chief medical officer for Pfizer. Currently, information about drug safety is available through numerous, but fragmented channels, which can be challenging for healthcare professionals and patients as they discuss the risks and benefits of various treatments. Patient safety is the top priority for Pfizer, and as an industry leader, we are using our collective experience and knowledge to address this critical public health need.
The educational website will be available for widespread use by everyone engaged in medicine safety communications and decision making in a unique, user-friendly way. Located at www.Pfizer.com/medicinesafety, the website uses cutting edge illustrations and interactive tools to educate about medicine safety. For example, patients will find information and questions to consider that will better prepare them for a doctorÂ™s visit, as well as interactive tools on topics like how to read a medicine label. This is the first pharmaceutical industry website to prominently feature a link for reporting side effects from all medical products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
More than one-third of Americans surveyed in an April 2007 Harris Poll decided not to take a prescribed medicine because of safety concerns about risks and more than a quarter chose not to fill a prescription at all over safety concerns.
With the population aging and medicine use increasing, information about medicine safety is more important than ever before, added Gretchen S. Dieck, Ph.D., senior vice president, Safety and Risk Management for Pfizer. Yet surveys of practicing physicians, health policy experts and the general public have revealed a lack of understanding of the fundamental safety science, processes and terminology. This can contribute to misinformed decisions by patients about treatment options, which can lead to sub-optimal health outcomes.
The medicine safety education initiative is the latest in a series of activities demonstrating PfizerÂ™s continuing commitment to become more open and accountable with stakeholders.
An important reason for communicating more openly with stakeholders is to make sure that not just more, but better information is available to address important public health needs such as medicine safety, Dr. Feczko said. We continually look for innovative ways to improve the medicine safety process and know more now than ever before about the safety profiles of our medicines. This is a result of enhanced safety studies, improved technology and methods of gathering information about patient experiences, and strengthened regulatory requirements.
Pfizer: Working Together for a Healthier World Founded in 1849, Pfizer is the worldÂ™s largest research-based pharmaceutical company taking new approaches to better health. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the world to expand access to our medicines and provide better quality health care and health system support. At Pfizer, 85,000 colleagues work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide.
Liz Power, 860-732-4987
Jennifer Davis, 212-733-0717