Unexamined Drug Epidemic–the Elephant No One Wants to See

“Prescription drug therapy stands as one of the most significant perils to health resulting from human activity.  What’s the FDA doing to stem the tide of this preventable epidemic?

“Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in the US. In any given month, 48% of US consumers ingested a prescription drug, and 11% ingested five or more prescription drugs. Americans suffer from an estimated 45-50 million adverse effects, from prescription drugs–of which 2.5 million to 4 million are serious, disabling or fatal.
[ QuarterWatch , May 2012 ]

So what is the FDA–the agency that licenses these drugs–doing to stem the rising tide of this preventable deadly epidemic?  NOTHING.  

“The FDA does not even monitor its own adverse event report database, MedWatch. Neither government agencies charged with setting healthcare policies, nor major stakeholders in medicine, are monitoring drug safety to identify which prescribed drugs are causing most serious harm. No one in authority is doing anything to prevent the escalating number of preventable human casualties.

“Those who have argued for or against healthcare reform have ignored entirely the millions of Americans who are being harmed each year by toxic prescribed drugs. Adding insult to injury, most new drugs are not developed for life-threatening conditions. Professor Donal Light has demonstrated that only one in seven patented drugs offers a clinical benefit over existing, safer, and cheaper alternatives–and only 1% can be said to be “life-saving.” [http://www.pharmamyths.net/]

“To make a bad situation worse, Congress—whose members have been unable to agree on anything–reached quick bipartisan agreement with little bickering, without any effort to repeal the Obama administration’s health reform law. They approved a massive $6.4 billion FDA-industry user fee agreement, well ahead of schedule, for brand-name drugs and medical devices, and introducing fees for the review of generic drugs. In the Senate (S3187) the vote was 96 to1, and in the House of Representatives a similar bill (HR5651) passed by a vote of 387 to 5. …”

http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/856/9/

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