May 24 2007
06:16 am

In the NY Times today another drug's safety was questioned.

"Avandia has been used by an estimated six million people in the United States since the agency approved it 1999. At the time, the company promoted Avandia as a safer alternative to a similar diabetes drug, Rezulin, which was withdrawn from the market in 2000 because it caused serious liver damage in some patients.

A Harvard professor who is a critic of the nation’s drug approval process, Dr. Jerome L. Avorn, yesterday drew parallels between the regulatory histories of Avandia and Rezulin, which had been a popular drug in its day.

With both drugs, “there were signals of a very dangerous side effect that were ignored,” he said. “Then massive marketing created a tremendous uptake of the drug. Last year, worldwide sales of Avandia exceeded $3 billion, making it one of Glaxo’s top-selling drugs."

Every few weeks we hear about another drug that could harm us. Drug companies seem to have no problem using us like guinea pigs as long as they make a profit. Yes, some people might be helped by these drugs, but what if you are one of those that die from something you thought was safe?

In the article it said the FDA sent out a letter in 2001 warning doctors about the risk. Can't you just see these letters being tossed in the watsebasket by doctors rushing to get to the next patient? No one seems to be taking our health seriously, so is it any wonder many of us shudder when we're prescribed a new drug? After seeing so many problems, seeing drugs recalled, or new dangers exposed how can anyone feel confident about filling a new prescription?

One day physicians are insisting women take hormones to stay in good health (I actually had a doctor if Florida refuse to take me as a patient if I "refused to take good care of myself". Shortly thereafter because new studies showed problems, doctors were reluctant to prescribe hormones at all.

All of this while at the same time we are being told that buying drugs from Canada might not be safe? Ha! The FDA has become a less than reliable source (was it ever?) for drug safety information. Googling the drug name + adverse affects often lets you see what people are actually experiencing. It's become the last line of defense for people who are concerned about all the prescriptions being written by doctors who get perks from drug companpies.

We're talking life and death here, not just numbers and percentages. No one wants to be a guinea pig for drugs that aren't thoroughly studied.

The pharmacuetical companies are robber barons, only it's not just money they are stealing. They are too often stealing life itself, and that ought to be a crime.

Wayne's picture

Dr. Perks?

I have frieds that are MD's and others that work for pharmaceutical companies. They tell me all the big companies signed on to some regulation called PHARMA a few years back and many of the Doctor "perks" have been cut out. They told me no more golf, sporting events, spouses allowed at dinners or anything that can be considered entertainment. I don't know about you but if I thought my doctor could be bought by a few rounds of golf, I would find another doctor.

Carole Borges's picture

The PHARMA thing sounds good

I noticed last time I was at my doctors almost every item in every room was branded, from wastebasket liners to the thin sheets of paper on the examining table. It made me a little dizzzy.

Wayne's picture


And this influences your doctor How?

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