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When Great Answers Lead to Better Questions

More frequently than not, a good research question and process lead to fascinating answers...

More frequently than not, a good research question and process lead to fascinating answers. Even more interesting can be the new questions that those answers may bring to the forefront. In 2014, CMSA was presented with a question about which drugs may present truly innovative drug development opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

To answer this question, CMSA developed a database called SafeRx, which contained millions of data points from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). The answer to our initial question did indeed bring us a whole host of new and interesting questions.

In 2015, CMSA furthered the work on the SafeRx database through expansion of the dataset with the addition of even more publicly available data. New and innovative links between medication adverse event reports and additional datasets have provided a platform for more meaningful and insightful queries. The expansion of the database has brought logistical and performance challenges as well.

The expansion of SafeRx over the next three years will include harnessing the power of social media. An expanded SafeRx will allow for the identification of adverse medication events in untapped datasets that are likely to yield rich and meaningful information about how people use medications.

CMSA’s mission of “making safe medication use common practice” has continued to lead the organization to new and innovative ways of answering tough questions and ultimately asking even better questions.

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