Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Is the Fox Guarding the Henhouse?
Is the FDA really looking out for our best interests? According to a recent Frontline program aired on PBS, the answer appears to be a resounding No. The program interviewed past employees who admitted they were pressured into covering up for potentially harmful medications that often times didn’t prove to be therapeutically effective when compared to other medicines or placebo. Yet these drugs were given patent status and released into the market.
Officials at GlaxoSmithKline, makers of the antidepressant drug Paxil, in internal documents show that it has no benefit to adolescents according to a 1998 trial. According to this document, the officials recommend that staff “effectively manage the dissemination of these data in order to minimize any potential negative commercial impact.” In other words, it doesn’t work.
Other documents from the makers of Paxil show that one in sixty people on Paxil attempt suicide, while one in five hundred fifty on placebo attempt suicide (as reported by the BBC last year). It is sobering to realize that evaluation for drug-induced deaths is not part of the review of safety and efficacy conducted by the FDA.
Typically, only a few hundred patients are treated with a new drug in placebo-controlled trials before the drug is approved. Also, the duration of placebo-controlled treatment is usually short – 30 to 90 days. How, then, will we determine whether a drug increases mortality?
Dr. Thomas Bigger, Columbia University, in an editorial commentary that appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, June 1994 Discovering new dangers of drugs after marketing is so common that overall, 51 percent of approved drugs have serious adverse effects not detected prior to approval. Each year prescription drugs injure 1.5 million people so severely they require hospitalization and as stated above, over 100,000 die each year.
Around 1,400 employees work for the FDA whose main duties relate to approving new drugs. Yet, there are only 52 full time employees who monitor the safety of all the drugs currently on the market.
*The FDA estimates that only about 1% percent of adverse events are ever reported.
For example, the toxic effects of the heart medication dioxin are well documented and include a particularly serious heart arrhythmia. Each year, the FDA receives an average of only 82 adverse-reaction reports for dioxin, suggesting that the drug is not particularly dangerous.
However, when Medicare records were systematically studied, a shocking 202,211 hospitalizations due to dioxin adverse effects were found in a seven-year period. This would be equivalent to over 28,000 adverse reactions per year due to dioxin.
JAMA, 1998[279;19]: 1571-1573, Time to Act on Drug Safety, May 20, 1998
What can you do to prevent being another statistic?
Read about every drug you are taking or are considering taking. Learn if there are safer drugs and or natural ways-diet, exercise, supplements you can take or do that will increase your chances of eliminating the cause of your condition.
A case in point-if you have high blood sugar levels or type II diabetes, the cause is usually from excess weight. Losing weight is the answer- not taking drugs.
I've posted to my website, www.treatingandbeating.com, several articles with natural protocols for various conditions including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, heart disease, ADHD, diabetes, and many more. If you're looking for alternatives to drugs and surgery only mentality my treatingandbeating site is a good place to start. I'd also recommended mayo.org for researching your prescription drugs.