December 2nd, 2019| Whether you picked it up from a pharmacy with a prescription, or bought it right off the supermarket shelf, you never expect a new medication to cause you to develop a serious illness or other dangerous complication. However, that’s the reality for countless people every year due to defective and dangerous drugs. Drugs are supposed to be thoroughly tested via multiple rounds of clinical trials before they’re released to the general public. And yet, every year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publicizes recalls of medications that are potentially harmful to patients. There are three primary reasons why this occurs:
- Impurities—Recently, a drug designed to treat high blood pressure and one designed to treat acid reflux were recalled due to containing an impurity that’s linked to cancer. Impurities are often found in medications that are manufactured in non-sterile facilities or in facilities with lax oversight.
- Hidden side effects—Researching and developing a new medication can cost billions of dollars. That means drug companies are desperate to get their products on the market. To do so, they may hide side effects from the FDA to increase their chances of approval.
- Labeling errors—The safety of all medications is dose-dependent. When patients take too much or too little of a medication, they can experience severe complications. Labeling errors can result in patients taking incorrect doses, putting their health and their lives at risk.