Does the FDA Approve Dangerous Drugs Because It Doesn't Test Them?

If you watch an hour of television, you are bound to see at least one advertisement for a new pharmaceutical drug that lists one benefit and about 20 dangerous side effects. Indeed, it seems that each year there are more and more cases involving defective drugs that were either sold over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor; Topamax, Actos, and Taz are some more recent cases, just to name a few.

The question you may have found yourself asking is, “How are there so many dangerous drugs on the market? Doesn’t the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stop this sort of thing?” You may be surprised to find that the short answer is: no.

Does the Drug Work as Intended?

The FDA’s role is probably not what you think it is. Most people would admit to believing that the FDA is there to test drugs for dangers and send it back to the manufacturer for revisions if it doesn’t pass their strict standards. While this sometimes is the case, it is a rare one.

The actual role of the FDA is approving a drug based largely on whether or not it functions as intended. That is to say, if it is a heart medication that has been advertised to stop blood clots, it needs to stop blood clots – the side effects almost don’t matter to them. In this regard, the FDA is there to stop false advertising while keeping a cursory glance over safety regulations on drugs.

Who Tests the Drugs?

Pharmaceuticals and new drugs are not hitting the market with no testing at all. In fact, the FDA does require that new products go through thorough testing before it will review it for final approval. But here’s the twist: the FDA relies on the drug manufacturers to conduct all the testing themselves and pass along their findings.

On the surface, you can probably already see flaws in this method. Any product testing without third-party oversight or intervention creates the opportunity for dishonesty. A drug manufacturer that is relying on its new product succeeding could potentially hide dangerous side effects, or, more likely, misrepresent the severity of those side effects. In the end, this could be the direct cause of so many dangerous drugs reaching the market and causing innocent consumers and patients harm.

If you have been negatively affected by a pharmaceutical or OTC medicine in any way, contact Haines Law, P.C. and our Houston defective drug attorneys at your first opportunity. We are backed by both a history of successful case results and appreciative client testimonials.

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