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Welcome! My name's Christopher Peters (@statwonk) and I'm a professional data scientist at Zapier. I built this dashboard to help make important drug reaction data accessible to the public.

Prescriptions help millions live healthier lives daily, but they can also have adverse side-effects. Only you and your doctors can determine if the benefit of taking a drug outweighs the associated risks. The benefits of drugs are commonly sold in television commercials and magazine advertisements, and while ads for drugs are required to list common adverse side-effects they aren't given the same level of attention as benefits.

This dashboard doesn't contain counts of doses for each drug, so it's not possible with this data to understand the relative risks of drugs presented here. However, it is possible to look at distribution of outcomes of adverse events, see how many people are affected by adverse drugs and the ways they're affected.

My hope is that this dashboard will be a first step to make the FDA's adverse event monitoring data more accessible to the public. If you're interested and able to help develop the dashbaord, checkout its source code: all contributions no matter how large or small are welcome.

There are

from adverse events related to medicine listed in the API, so I hope you'll agree that public awareness and understanding of the risks associated with pharmaceuticals are a worthy endeavor.

Note: the FDA reports 117,752 deaths in the database in just 2013, so the number above may even understate the total number of deaths from advese events.


FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS)

The FDA FAERS system is a database of adverse events (basically, drug reactions and medication error reports). The FDA uses the database in its post-marketing surveillance program.


In early 2014, the FDA released an API to make adverse event reports, labels, and eforcement reports more accessible.

Previously, these files only existed as flat files on the FDA website. If you'd like to access the entirety of the data shown in this dashboard, these files are a good start – though they generally lag by six months (today (6/27/15), the latest available data is from 2014).

People who deserve credit

Taha A. Kass-Hout, MD, MS, Chief Health Informatics Officer of FDA for leading the FDA team to publish the OpenFDA API.

Contributors to the OpenFDA project.

Contributors to the rOpenHealth R package for making working with the API in R a pleasure.

The Rstudio team for their awesome web application framework for R, Shiny.

Hadley Wickham, first creator of four of the R packages below.

Paul H. C. Eilers and Brian D. Marx for the Smoothing spline method used on weekly report counts: “Flexible smoothing with B-splines and penalties”

R packages used

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