CredibleMeds® was founded in 1999 as the university-based, federally funded Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERT), with a mission to foster the safe use of medicines. In 2012, CERT became AZCERT or Arizona CERT, an independent non-profit 501c3 organization incorporated in Arizona. AZCERT's website was renamed CredibleMeds® in 2014 to better reflect its scope and global recognition as a trusted resource on safe medication use for healthcare providers, research scientists and the public. AZCERT maintains the CredibleMeds® website and the QTdrugs lists of drugs that have a risk of QT prolongation and cardiac arrhythmias under a contract with the FDA's Safe Use Initiative to support the safe use of medications.
Overview of CredibleMeds®
Since its initial launch in 1999, CredibleMeds® has developed educational and research programs providing resources for medical professionals, researchers and consumers. Most notably, CredibleMeds® has built and applied a novel, systems-based approach to reduce harm from medications and drug-drug interactions (DDIs) – with a special focus on drugs that prolong the QT interval on the patient’s electrocardiogram and thereby increase the risk of torsades de pointes (TdP), a heart arrhythmia that can cause sudden cardiac death.
To scientifically assess risk of harm from medicines, CredibleMeds® has developed a risk-stratification process – the Adverse Drug Event Causality Analysis (ADECA) – that includes monitoring and analysis of 1) scientific articles in the published medical literature, 2) information in the official drug label, 3) reports submitted to its website and 4) data in the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) using Oracle's Empirica Signal software. Drugs are placed into one of four risk categories based on their relative potential to alter the electrocardiogam (QT prolongation) and/or cause life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Over 76,000 registered users can view these lists of drugs by QT risk category and our list of Drugs to Avoid for patients with congenital LQTS.
The CredibleMeds® website serves as a unique global resource that is highly valued for its positive impact on clinical prescribing.1 Each month, its web-based drug lists receive approximately 20,000 unique visitors from over 190 countries. Major hospital systems, including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have incorporated the CredibleMeds® drug list into an electronic prescribing alert systems to identify patients at risk for sudden death.2 The lists of drugs have also been a valuable resource for clinical investigations and for drug regulators. Click here to see how they are being used.
CredibleMeds® is led by its founder, Dr. Raymond Woosley, and a team of scientists and communication specialists. The long-range goal for the organization is to develop partnerships in order to incorporate the drug lists generated by CredibleMeds® into clinical decision support systems that save lives.
1. Pieter G. Postema; Jon Neville; Jonas S.S.G. de Jong; Klaus Romero; Arthur A.M. Wilde; Raymond L. Woosley. Safe drug use in long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome: comparison of website statistics. Europace 2013; doi: 10.1093/europace/eut018.
2. Haugaa, K.H. et al. Institution-wide QT alert system identifies patients with a high risk of mortality. Mayo Clinic Proc. April 2013. 88 (4) 315-325.