Sunday, January 6, 2008

The FDA is an Agency of the Public Health Service....Right? Or is it just a "Cop on the Take?"

There are so many attacks on the FDA (rightfully so) that there are articles all over the Internet.
There is so much information about SSRI Anti-depressants. It's also all over the Internet.
The fact that most medications have several undesirable side effects is just accepted. We know there will be discomfort but that's the extent of it right?
The FDA, an agency of the Public Health Service, would not release any medication with more harmful side effects than that right?

Wrong and Wrong.

The Pharmaceutical industry is paying the FDA more and more money while Congress is doing less and less to hold the FDA accountable. In general, people expect drugs that have recently gained FDA approval to be better, more effective and safer than the older and existing drugs they are competing with or replacing. The fact of the matter, however, is that the drug companies are in such a rush to get new drugs on the market; to get their piece (or pieces) of this Billion dollar industry that things like effectiveness and safety are not as important as they used to be. How can this be you ask? Well, Big Pharma is paying the FDA. Big Pharma wants the drugs released sooner than later and, lets face it, the one paying the bills is boss. Having the pharmaceutical industry directly fund the FDA may have started with the best of intentions but now that we see it doesn't work, maybe we should stop it don't you think? Can it be that the FDA has become so corrupted that it actually suppresses information about unsafe drugs in order to get them to market quickly. I would say that is exactly what's happening. I agree that there are certain "new" medications that offer great potential and are unrivaled in the current marketplace. These drugs are the exception and if they offer tremendous potential benefit, then they may need to be gotten to market quickly. Like I said, they are the exception. Most drugs being turned out are just slightly different than current medications offering no tremendous benefit, but being unproven, are capable of untold harm.
Back to the "pieces" of the Billion dollar drug industry. Let's say a certain drug company has 11 drugs currently approved by the FDA and in use. For the sake of an argument we'll call each drug a "piece" and assume all "pieces" get an equal share of the Billions. So this drug company has 11 pieces. If they modify each of their eleven drugs just slightly and "fast track" FDA approval on 2 new versions of each, they now have 33 pieces of the billions! Granted each "piece" will now be worth slightly less but overall profits sky rocket! Lets not forget the FDA gets paid for each of these new drugs too. We are now flooded with similar medications that are no more effective or beneficial than their predecessors, but due to their slight modifications, are unproven and may pose dreadful side effects yet to be determined! Congress, meanwhile, sits back and watches the FDA stick it to the consumer! I'm not here to write about Congress on the take. That's not my fight. Besides I think it's been done maybe once or twice. My fight is against drugs. Specifically SSRI Anti-depressants. They have gained FDA approval; and based on the above example, it's easy to see how. But now that so much damage has been done, why are they still out there? Why are they not recalled? Why are they still used in children, in babies, in pregnant women or in anyone? They put black box warnings on them, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but the time has come to ban these killer drugs! For the FDA to stop succumbing to the pharmaceutical companies for the sake of the almighty dollar with the blood of innocent victims who trusted them on their hands.
The fact that we know they are killing us, the fact that the FDA knows they are not safe and the fact that the drug companies themselves admit how dangerous they are totally demoralizes the FDA. How we view them and what we consider their duties to be. It blows our expectations of the Public Health Service out of the water. It spits in the face of the doctors and scientists who work for the FDA and don't want to approve these drugs but are under so much pressure and have so many incentives from Big Pharma, that they push them through anyway. I'm sure they can't even believe this is going on! They must be just waiting for someone to do something. For Congress or the Public Health Service or Millions of angry Americans to put a stop to it!
We are not members of Congress, not the secretary of the Public Health Service, not even Millions of Americans. What we are though is fed up! We are ready to fight. We are joining many others who have been fighting. We are going to add to their strength in getting something done, in getting changes made. Right now you can add us to all of the other information on the Internet about SSRI Anti-Depressants and the FDA. But we will not stay mere statistics. We will not fade away. We will fight until there are changes. We will fight until there is accountability. We know nothing will ever be "right." Nothing can ever be "right" again. But that will not stop us from trying to help others not be wronged. WE ARE SARINA'S VOICE AND WE WILL BE HEARD!