Latest, greatest... and deadliest?
There's something you need to do before you swallow any drug, especially one approved in recent years: Cross your fingers, toss a little salt over your shoulder and break out the old rabbit's foot.
Trust me on this -- you're going to need all the luck you can get!
What happens when you swallow that drug is anyone's guess, because the FDA often approves new meds based on little to no research -- in some cases, based on a single small study.
Do they work? WHO KNOWS!
Are they safe? WHO KNOWS!
Will we ever know the answer to either question? WHO KNOWS!
Maybe that could be the agency's new motto -- WHO KNOWS! -- because a new study shows they're not all that interested in finding out.
The FDA's bass-ackward process allows the agency to approve first, and ask questions later by ordering new studies once the drug is on the market. But as the report shows, they're in no hurry to see the results of those studies.
Of the 85 follow-up studies ordered for 20 new drugs approved in 2008, 60 percent are MIA -- and some of them won't be completed until the year 2020.
You have to wonder what excuse they're using for that one. The dog ate my research?
And while the drug companies drag their feet... while they push through delays and demand extensions... while they take advantage of the generous deadlines offered by the FDA... patients are at risk of being hurt and even killed by these drugs.
The studies that have been completed so far have already lead to new warnings for nine of the drugs -- including five in the "black box" used for serious risks up to and including death.
So that leaves you with a choice when a mainstream pill-pushing doc offers you the supposedly latest and greatest new drug: Either swallow the pill, rub your rabbit's foot and hope for the best... or get yourself to a doctor who's not going to gamble on a new and unproven treatment when your life is on the line.
I recommend an experienced member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine.