Pfizer enlists EMR, mobile tech for safety tracking

Pfizer is looking to technology as a tool for tracking safety problems. The idea is to use electronic medical records and mobile applications to keep track of adverse event reports--and encourage doctors to make them.

Pfizer's encouraging adverse-event reports? It may sound counterintuitive, but the sooner a safety issue is identified, the sooner it can be fixed. So Pfizer has set up partnerships with Sermo, Epocrates, and Brigham & Women's Hospital on some pilot projects, Medical Marketing & Media reports.

For example, Brigham & Women's will use automatic prompts in the hospital's computer system to encourage adverse event reporting. So when a doctor gets into the system to change a dosage for a patient, say, the system asks for info on any adverse events that have cropped up. The data then will go automatically to FDA and the drugmakers.

"We got better data," Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer's CMO, tells Dow Jones. "We essentially demonstrated that you could make it easier for physicians to report adverse events, through leveraging the electronic medical record."

Epocrates' mobile reference app--used by some 275,000 doctors--added a "contact manufacturer" button to the drug-info page. That allows doctors to get to Pfizer's medical affairs department with questions or comments about the company's drugs. Sermo added a similar feature for its physician members, MM&M reports.

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