Pharmaceuticals
We try to strike a delicate balance on this blog: Informing patients about all of the need-to-know information to help keep themselves and their families protected from some of the most dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices out there today and Not Freaking Readers Out — because there are a whole lot of dangerous drugs and medical devices out there that are still being sold to unsuspecting patients. From fluoroquinolone antibiotics to Zofran, and from transvaginal mesh to Depakote.

And while we have no intention of unnecessarily worrying readers, now is the time where we just have to say: Be worried. Be very, very worried. Because as bad as the pharmaceutical industry may be today, as bad as the dangerous side effects and the “independently performed” studies and the illegal and negligent off-label marketing, as bad as all that is, Big Pharma wants more. And they have powerful lobbyists and government relationships that will help them to get more, as long as we don’t speak out.

Because, this is seriously being considered: Allowing pharmaceutical companies to minimize or altogether avoid talking about official safety warnings in pharmaceutical sales presentations to customers.

And, it’s being proposed by the FDA itself.

If enacted, this proposal would open up a whole new territory of ways to undermine patient safety on behalf of corporate greed.

So let’s talk about why it’s even on the table.

The “merits” of this dangerous proposal, one that is of course being promoted by pharmaceutical companies themselves, is that the proposal would allow pharmaceutical companies to update doctors and hospitals with the latest research. Of course we have some serious doubts about this ourselves, as some necessary research that helps to prove the associated risks of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices is very often left off of drug labels and marketing material for years, in turn seriously risking the health of many patients.

Oftentimes, it’s the combination of the FDA and individual patients speaking up that helps hold pharmaceutical companies accountable. With the FDA and lawsuits combined, patients are generally better able to get the need-to-know information about medical drugs and devices in their hands.

But what if the FDA allows this proposal to be enacted? What would that world look like?

It could potentially look like pharmaceutical companies giving information to patients, doctors and hospitals that is biased, not true or even flat-out dangerous. It could potentially look like pharmaceutical companies leaving out important advice about usage and safety in drug labeling and marketing material. It could potentially look like a lot of patients relying on prescription drugs and medical devices that are not as safe or low-risk as other options, and it could potentially mean that these patients could suffer dearly.

We don’t want that world to happen. And if the FDA enacts the proposal, know this: It’s up to us now. It’s up to people and lawsuits, to patients who have been wronged and to lawyers who are dedicated to fighting back against needless patient suffering.

We don’t want a world where the only people fighting for what’s right are the people who are hurt themselves, and the lawyers who committed to helping them speak up. As we all know, patients and lawyers are very necessary, but so is government regulation and a sound and safe Food and Drug Administration.

Speak Up!

We encourage you to speak up against this dangerous new proposal by sharing this news with your friends and family. If you can write your congress member, do that too.

The good news is you won’t be alone when you speak up. Just look at The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (QVF), a group that has already spoken up by calling on the FDA to close the generic drug safety loophole. We are big fans of QVF and if you are not aware of all they are doing to fight back on dangerous fluoroquinolone antibiotics, now is the time to learn more.

We still have time, everyone. But a dangerous new world of pharmaceutical negligence is knocking on the door. And it’s time to call for backup!