Monday is Patriots’ Day and its one of my favorite days of the year.
Patriots’ Day is held on the third Monday in April commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War. It is also Marathon Monday, the day of the Boston Marathon. It’s a day the city takes a break from normal Monday routines to cheer on runners, watch the Red Sox at 11am, and generally have a really good time.
It’s an incredibly festive atmosphere, not only for the spectators like me, but, for the runners as well. Prior to the bombings in 2013, race officials were very lax on unofficial runners joining the race. The “Bandit Runners” as they came to be known, would hop in right after the start line and run the 26.2 miles with the same commitment (just not speed) as the competitive marathoners. Some dressed up in crazy costumes. Some, like my wife back in 2010, did it for charity. Others just ran to run. Whatever the reasons, these bandits/outsiders who ran on the fringe of the race gave the Marathon an aura of authenticity that other foot races fail to achieve. They made the third Monday in April not just a race, but a happening that’s become so integral to Boston culture that it wouldn’t be Boston without it. These bandits contributed to the event in a way the competitive runners couldn’t because their mission wasn’t to win at all costs, instead it was a much simpler desire – to participate, engage, share in and enhance a communal effort. Unfortunately, for security reasons, the Bandits of the Boston Marathon are no more.
What do bandit runners, the Boston Marathon, and the Revolutionary War have to do with drug safety?
The AdverseEvents’ team just got back from a productive few days at the AMCP Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego. We made great contacts, presented an informative poster: Determining the Cost of Adverse Drug Reactions from FDA-approved Medications: Implications for Outcomes Research and Formulary Decisions, and got to catch up with a lot of our current and prospective clients.
AdverseEvents is clearly making an impact on the industry and the excitement around our roll-out of RxCost has been overwhelming.
But, even with all of the positive feedback, energy, and support that we received at the show, I still feel like we are “Bandits” running on the fringe of the Drug Safety Marathon. Because while the exhibit hall is overflowing with big pharma racing to the billion dollar finish line by trying to prove that their drug is better than the drug being touted a couple booths down, AdverseEvents is running on the fringe demonstrating to healthcare decision makers that independent side effect data, in combination with pharma’s efforts, contributes more to the Drug Safety Marathon than individual manufacturer biased endeavors.
Related Read: The Cost of Drug Safety
Without the bandits, the Boston Marathon is just another race. Likewise, without adverse event data, the Drug Safety Marathon is just one indistinguishable drug against another. All the hype around a new drug’s benefit will do nothing if the drug’s safety is in question. All the assurances from manufacturers to prescribers, health systems and insurers do nothing when the general consensus is that it is a corporate financial race to the finish. Independent, unbiased drug safety data adds authenticity to an effort that has long be plagued by the single minded goal of the symbolic monetary finish line. The collaboration of “bandits/outsiders” and pharma benefits the entire “race” experience.
Related Read: Trimming the Fat Off of Post-Marketing Drug Safety
See how we run the Drug Safety Marathon for yourself. Click here for a copy of the poster that our VP of Scientific Affairs, Dr. Keith Hoffman presented, Determining the Cost of Adverse Drug Reactions from FDA-approved Medications: Implications for Outcomes Research and Formulary Decisions.
Executive Vice President