I talked about the Merck/Vioxx fiasco earlier, and today we’ve basically been told by a government safety expert that the FDA is defenseless against dangerous drugs being foisted on the public by Big Pharma. (WP):
“I would argue that the FDA as currently configured is incapable of protecting America against another Vioxx,” said David Graham, who warned that the arthritis drug had been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
He told the Senate Finance Committee that there were at least five other drugs on the market today that should be looked at seriously to see whether they should remain there. He cited the acne drug Accutane, the weight loss drug Meridia, the anti-cholesterol drug Crestor, the pain reliever Bextra, and the asthma drug Serevent.
…Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who chaired the hearing, suggested that an independent board of drug safety might be needed to ensure the safety of medications after they’re approved for the market.
“Consumers should not have to second-guess the safety of what’s in their medicine cabinet,” he said.
Graham told the committee that research indicated that Vioxx caused up to 160,000 heart attacks and strokes.
“If we were talking about Florida or Pennsylvania, 1 percent of the entire state population would have been affected,” he said. “I’m sorry to say Sen. Grassley, but 67 percent of the citizens of Des Moines would be affected and, what’s worse – the entire population of every other city in the state of Iowa.”
As bad as this all is, what is worse is that the Bush administration wants to be able to block consumer lawsuits against Big Pharma because injury claims would “undermine the FDA”!! What kind of circular logic is this?! It’s total bullsh*t, and you are the guinea pig.