Pfizer has unveiled a new drug safety section on its website, and so far, critics are giving it a thumbs up. "They've made a good faith effort," Dr. Steve Nissen (photo), Cleveland Clinic's head of cardiology, told the Associated Press. Dr. Harlan Krumholz, director of Yale's Center for Outcomes Research, said, "The spirit of what they're doing is great." And both of them said they hope other drugmakers follow suit.
The site includes sections for patients and for healthcare providers, both of which highlight the fact that every drug has its risks as well as its benefits. And the site includes a boxed link for reporting drug side effects to the FDA. Considering the fact that drug ads are known for racing through the fine print on side effects, Pfizer's frankness about those risks is an obvious departure. "Too long, the perspective presented to the public has been that drugs are some magic bullet...that there's no downside," Nissen said.