OpenVigil—free eyeballs on AERS pharmacovigilance data

Journal name:
Nature Biotechnology
Year published:
Published online

To the Editor:

The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) makes adverse drug reaction (ADR) data available to the community through the US Freedom of Information Act. Analysis of these data, however, is complicated by the file format and the huge size of the database. An editorial in this journal urged the FDA to update the database and make access “available to all [...] FDA staffers as well as experts from outside the agency”1. Indeed, in a subsequent article, Pratt and Danese2 announced their implementation of an AERS query engine, which they dubbed 'FDAble'. Unfortunately, like other commercial search engines, FDAble is not free.


  1. Anonymous. Nat. Biotechnol. 27, 297 (2009).
  2. Pratt, L.A. & Danese, P.N. Nat. Biotechnol. 27, 601602 (2009).
  3. Böhm, R., Cascorbi, I. & Herdegen, T. Med. Monatsschr. Pharm. 32, 453458 (2009).
  4. Schulz-Du Bois, C. & Böhm, R. Pharmacopsychiatry 44, A104 (2011).

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  1. Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

    • Ruwen Böhm,
    • Ingolf Cascorbi &
    • Thomas Herdegen
  2. Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

    • Jan Höcker

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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