FDA to notify doctors of drug, device issues via Internet

Hoping to speed up the process by which doctors learn that a drug or device may pose a danger to patients, the Food and Drug Administration has started working with the AMA, physician specialty groups, drug and device manufacturers and liability insurers to promote an Internet-based warning system. Traditionally, doctors have received notifications via standard paper mail when the FDA learns that there's a threat involved with a drug or device. However, professionals hope that the new Health Care Notification Network will speed up the notification process dramatically. More than 100,000 doctors already have signed up for the HCNN, which should launch in July.

The service, which is free to physicians, is being funded by drug and device-makers. Network developer Medem Inc. estimates that using the HCNN, doctors should get notified of drug and device issues within a day or two, rather than the three to four weeks it now takes for drug and device-makers to draft a letter, get FDA approval, print and mail it out. The AMA, which is one of seven medical societies behind Medem, is encouraging its members to enroll.

To learn more about the network:
- read this AMNews article