In an effort to better understand the effects of prescription medications on women and their unborn children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, researchers at the HMO Research Network Center for Education and Research in Therapeutics, Kaiser Permanente and Vanderbilt University have formed a new joint venture to study the safety of medications taken during pregnancy.
According to the FDA release:
To overcome the challenges presented by the lack of clinical trial data about the use of medications during pregnancy, the research program will link health care information for mothers and their babies in each of the participating research sites. Collectively, the 11 participating sites have health care information for about 1 million births over the past seven years (2001-2007). Many of the mothers associated with these births likely used medication during their pregnancies and now, with the program in place, the FDA and participating researchers have a systematic and timely way of retrieving information from this network.