In addition to being incompetent, it looks like the bureaucratic brains in charge of the FDA are illiterate to boot.
A pair of studies found that women who take bisphosphonate meds -- drugs that are supposed to fight off osteoporosis -- may actually have an increased risk of brittle bones and femur fractures.
These unlucky women don't even have to be doing anything strenuous. They could just be walking along and suddenly -- CRACK! -- a bone breaks for no reason at all.
But when the FDA found out about these studies, they sprang into their usual inaction -- quickly issuing a statement saying there's no clear connection between these meds and hip fractures... and telling women to keep right on taking them!
See no evil, hear no evil... read no studies, especially when they concern a class of drugs that did $3.5 billion in business in 2008 alone.
So let me tell you what the FDA won't: Long-term use of meds like Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax and Reclast have been linked to femur fractures. One of the studies found bones turning to peanut brittle at four years... and both studies found an increased risk of fracture at five years or more.
The studies, presented at the annual conference of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, also found that the fractures tend to happen to otherwise perfectly healthy active women -- not nursing-home patients.
But that's not the only bad news about these meds... that's just the latest bad news, because bisphosphonates have been linked to heartburn, abdominal pain, fever, bone and muscle pain, low energy and low levels of calcium in the blood.
And if you think that's bad, these meds have also been linked to esophageal cancer and necrosis of the jaw.
Ladies, if you want to ward off osteoporosis, skip the pills and drink more beer -- ideally India pale ales. As I told you just a few weeks ago, beer is the single best source of dietary silicon needed for strong bones.
Then, invest in a good beach chair so you can spend more time in the sun making your own vitamin D... and while you're out there, visit my archives and read the November issue of the Douglass Report, where I have everything you need to know about osteoporosis prevention. If you're not a subscriber, you can sign up here.