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Big Data and Pharmacovigilance: The Role of Oncology Nurses

David G. Glenn
CJON 2016, 20(5), 478-480 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.478-480

When new anticancer medications are approved, their safety profiles are often not fully understood. Oncology nurses have a responsibility to file reports of adverse drug events with safety registries such as MedWatch. If these registries receive prompt, complete, and accurate data from clinicians, agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will have a stronger ability to detect hazards and to issue safety recommendations.

At a Glance

  • In collaboration with physicians and pharmacists, oncology nurses have an obligation to contribute to national databases about medication safety. This is particularly important in the case of recently approved anticancer medications.
  • Emerging systems allow patients to directly report symptoms and adverse effects.
  • New techniques permit researchers to detect drug hazards by mining large-scale data from electronic health records and social media.

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