The development of behavioral addictions (BAs) in association with dopamine agonists (DAs, commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease) has been reported. A recent report presented data that these associations are evident in the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), a database containing information on adverse drug event and medication error reports submitted to the FDA. However, given that vulnerability to publicity-stimulated reporting is a potential limitation of spontaneous reporting systems like the FAERS, the potential impact of publicity on reporting in this case remains unclear.
To investigate the potential impact of publicity on FAERS reporting of BAs in association with DAs (BAs w/DAs) as presented by Moore, Glenmullen, and Mattison (2014), news stories covering a BA/DA association were identified and compared with BA w/DA and other reporting data in the FAERS.
Fluctuations in the growth of BA w/DA reporting to the FAERS between 2003 and 2012 appear to coincide with multiple periods of intensive media coverage of a BA/DA association, a pattern that is not evident in other reporting data in the FAERS.