RxISK is a free and independent website, launched in 2012 to empower you to have better conversations about your medications with your doctor. No-one knows more about the effects of a drug than the person taking it.
Drug safety has been in free fall for 20 years. Drug companies, regulators, and staff working in healthcare, increasingly deny any drugs have any side effects other than trivial ones. The number of drugs we take is growing exponentially. Polypharmacy now starts in the womb.
You are told evidence based medicine (EBM) is here to keep us safe. Where drugs are concerned, EBM and Guidelines have been captured by Pharma, driving our escalating drug use and erasing our difficulties on company drugs.
EBM now aims at selling drugs rather than keeping you safe. Companies run all drug trials, have them written up by ghostwriters, deny access to study data, and happily portray negative trials as positive with all side effects eliminated.
Even independent trials at best can only tell us about average drug effects. As none of us are average, trials cannot tell our doctor how to treat us.
Until recently, you and most doctors practiced Evident Based Medicine – if you thought something was happening to you on a drug, even if it didn’t happen on average, it likely was happening.
The RxISK report is central to what we do. It scores Evident Based Questions about how likely your drug is to cause you an effect. This is better science than EBM.
Taking a report to your doctor or pharmacist can support your conversation with them and offers an opportunity to solidify the science. Science is about achieving consensus on the best explanation for what is happening to you. This means you need to raise your issue and your doctor needs to engage with you – not tell you what a ghostwritten medical literature says.
These days your motivation with Google and RxISK to support you is worth as much as and should complement any medical expertise.
We reach out to some of you who file reports and ask you to write a post for the blog. These have attracted hundreds of comments from people who recognize the same thing is happening to them. Your posts and comments have clearly saved lives and built communities, which have generated research leads and contacts.
Your reports and posts have led to 21 peer-reviewed articles on treatment-induced alcoholism, persistent sexual dysfunction, vision and other problems and have helped get these problems into drug labels. RxISK successfully led an effort to get warnings added to antidepressant labels in Europe and Canada (See the European Medicines Agency and Health Canada).
You have supported a PSSD research fund where hopefully the hazards of drugs can be not just cured but research can open up avenues to new antiviral and anticancer agents.
Together we have done a lot of good work. With your input we can do more.
Our mission: Making medicines safer for all of us.
This Antoine Lentacker article looks in depth at RxISK’s first 10 years: Epistemology of the side effect: anecdote and evidence in the digital age (external link)