<p>The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched <a href="http://open.fda.gov/">openFDA</a> on June 2, a new initiative designed to make it easier for web developers, researchers and the public to access large public health datasets about prescription drugs in response to a presidential executive requiring federal agencies to be more transparent.</p>
<p>&ldquo;Using this data, a mobile developer could create a search app for a smart phone, for example, a consumer could then use to determine whether anyone else has experienced the same adverse event they did after taking a certain drug,&rdquo; Taha Kass-Hout, the FDA&rsquo;s chief health informatics officer, wrote in a blog <a href="http://open.fda.gov/update/openfda-innovative-initiative-opens-door-to-wealth-of-fda-publicly-available-data/">post</a> on the FDA website.</p>
<p>openFDA will begin with an initial pilot program involving the millions of reports of drug adverse events and medication errors that have been submitted to the FDA from 2004 to 2013. Previously, the data was only available through Freedom of Information Act requests.</p>
<p>The FDA states that the adverse events data made available under this initiative do not contain any data that could potentially be used to identify individuals or other private information. The pilot will later be expanded to include the FDA&rsquo;s databases on product recalls and product labeling.</p>