Lilly CEO: Use IT to boost drug safety

Forget FDA reform. Eli Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel (photo) wants information reform--a voluntary data-sharing collaboration among the healthcare industry, Pharma, and government. Integrated, constantly updated computer systems and databases could raise drug-safety flags much sooner, Taurel said during a sort of stump speech at the Cleveland Clinic. Vioxx's cardio side effects, for instance, could have been ID'd within three months.

Taurel admits that this sort of IT overhaul would cost up to $40 billion over 10 years. And Lilly isn't the poster child for data-sharing, considering the Zyprexa weight gain-and-blood sugar fiasco. But he's right: Healthcare has been woefully slow to adopt the sort of IT that's revolutionized other industries. Whether it can pull together now remains to be seen.

- see the release on Taurel's speech
- read the article from the Indianapolis Star

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