News of the WeekDRUG SAFETY

New Network to Track Drugs and Vaccines in Pregnancy

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Science  26 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5969, pp. 1066-1067
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5969.1066

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Summary

Both doctors and patients are jittery about whether to continue or drop potentially risky treatments during pregnancy. A new effort to bring risks into focus is being launched this week with $12.5 million from two U.S. agencies. It will start by examining asthma medications called short-acting beta agonists, as well as flu vaccines and antivirals for influenza. Called VAMPSS (the Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System), the program will be funded for 5 years by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and for 2 years by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and coordinated by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. An advisory committee that includes members from pediatric and obstetric groups, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will guide VAMPSS's research.