Drug Recalls Occur Too Late

Since 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled seven dangerous drug medications—two so far in 2007. Each of these drug medications was originally approved as safe by FDA officials. The average time on the shelf was five years between approval and FDA recall. There is no telling how many unsafe drugs are on the market. When you’re a regulatory agency, it’s your mistakes, not your successes, that count. Unfortunately, FDA regulators are just that: regulators. FDA does not conduct its own drug medication trials or evaluate competing products to discover which is the best drug medication. Overworked, limited in investigative powers, and subject to pressures from pharmaceutical companies, dangerous drugs make it to market and are rarely recalled.

Pharmaceutical Drug Recalls Occur Too Late

FDA drug approval comes from clinical trial (human subject) tests submitted by pharmaceutical companies. These companies are subject to the same market pressures as any other company. Sometimes safety takes a backseat to money, as was the case with pharmaceutical company Merck. FDA officials found Merck had misrepresented its research to allow the deadly drug Vioxx onto the market, a drug that according to FDA estimates caused 88,000 – 139,000 heart attacks before it was subject to FDA recall Additionally, more dangerous drug medications requiring recall have increased with the greater number of “fast-tracked” drug medications on the market. FDA also suffers from conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies whose drugs it regulates. Click here to read more about FDA fast-track program and FDA conflicts of interest. Aggravating the dangerous drug medication problem is another type of conflicting interest: Pharmaceutical companies’ influence on the doctor-patient relationship.

Influence of Pharmaceutical Companies

Drug advertising is everywhere, from Super Bowl ads to the pen and pad your doctor uses. In fact, pharmaceutical corporations spend more on promotions and for drug representatives to push their products than they spend on research and development. These values of selling over safety permeate the pharmaceutical industry. In order to sell more drugs, sometimes “off-label” (unintended, untested) uses are suggested in advertising and to doctors. While drug medication warning labels are subject to FDA updates, off-label are not FDA approved. This does not keep doctors from prescribing medications to one in five patients for effects not approved by FDA. Surprisingly, this dangerous practice is not illegal. Click here to read the American Medical Society study.

Drug Companies Granted Greater License

While drug medication injuries increase, less damages are being awarded to victims injured by pharmaceutical companies’ unsafe and deceitful practices. With the increase in tort reforms throughout the United States, pharmaceutical corporations are released of more responsibility to those whom their drug medications injure. These reforms limit the time victims have to file and damages they can collect. If you are currently taking a FDA recalled drug medication, do not stop or alter your dosage. Contact your doctor immediately about the risks and benefits associated with your prescription.

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If you have been injured by an unsafe drug medication, fill out our contact forms or call the Consumer Justice Group at 1-800-513-1609 to learn what legal action you should take. The Pharmaceutical & Drug Recall News is a service of the Consumer Justice Group.