analysis and plans responses to predictable events. To address the rising demand for better drug safety surveillance, the ABIM is developing a patient safety module that will address drug safety in physician certification and recertification. This project will be completed in late 2006 or early 2007. “Maintenance of certification is a hook through which other quality improvement exercises can be linked or to which they can be attached,” said Dr. Sennett.

Assuming that the current level of funding continues, the FDA planned to launch a complete inventory of prescription drugs in the winter of 2006 and an inventory of all marketed drugs by 2008 on the Internet site Facts@FDA/DailyMed. E-prescribing code sets are also planned to be complete and up-to-date by 2008. Further incorporation of drug safety in certification is an important approach to improving education in this area. These new approaches should give the public and health-care providers significantly improved information. Dr. Drazen concluded that in order to improve the system, clear, accurate, and immediately accessible prescribing information should be made available and should be accompanied by expanded data standards, improved passive surveillance, and robust postmarket active surveillance efforts.

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