Friday, February 29, 2008

The FDA - A Step in the Right Direction

While it seems that anything the FDA does is based upon an imperfect system, there is a new effort being launched by the FDA to oversee the side-effects of prescription drugs. I believe (but this is unverified) that they might be making a data base of these side-effects available for consumer use, which would be incredibly beneficial.

So, pros:
a) A database with side-effect listed (yay!) so we don't all have to read ten pages of fine print when a drug is prescribed to us.
b) More oversite on prescription drugs so that things like the
Zyprexa debacle aren't repeated.

a) In usual FDA fashion, the new effort (called "Safety First") might be unwilling to pull a drug they have already approved.
b) They could get in cahoots with various drug manufacturers.

I say that this is a change for the better. The Pros are something new and the Cons are cons that have been around since the FDA's inception. What do you think?


Grahame said...

Anything that puts more information into the hands of the public (assuming the data is accurate) is a good thing.

In business we do "due diligence" and "cost/benefit analysis" before we make decisions. This is something people should do with drugs: make sure that what the drug makers says is true by consulting other sources and decide based on the cost (both financial and in terms of physical damage the drugs can cause) if the expected benefit is worth it.

Julia said...

That would be a really interesting thing to do... I wonder - what with all the side effects of drugs - if very many of them would be worth it.