(HealthDay News) — About 10% of cases where a drug does serious harm are not reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the required 15-day period, according to a new analysis published online as a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D., an associate professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and colleagues analyzed a decade’s worth of data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System, eventually reviewing more than 1.6 million reports. About 95% of these reports come from drug companies, the authors noted in background information.

The researchers found that drug manufacturers promptly report within the required 15-day period 90.71% of cases that do not involve patient deaths, and 88.25% of cases that do involve a death. But the remaining cases were reported late, often by months. Drug manufacturers delayed filing 40,464 reports that involved patient death between 2004 and 2014. They also delayed reporting nearly 119,919 events that did not involve a patient death.

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“What was also surprising was that typically these were not delays of just a few days,” Karaca-Mandic told HealthDay. “For example, among events that involved a patient death, about 6% were reported within 16 to 90 days, about 3% within 91 to 180 days, and about 3% were delayed more than 180 days.”


  1. Paul Ma; Iván Marinovic; Pinar Karaca-Mandic. JAMA Intern Med, published online July 27, 2015; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3565
  2. Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc. JAMA Intern Med, published online July 27, 2015; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3574.