How Does the FDA Test for Dangerous Drugs?

Posted By Law Offices of Joel Parker || 4-Apr-2016

Dangerous drugs are a serious concern for all Americans. Not just illegal recreational drugs, either, but also prescription and over-the-counter medications that doctors recommend on a daily basis. Most television stations will have one or two commercials per commercial break trying to sell or promote the latest pharmaceutical breakthrough, a great new drug that can cure one ailment or another. But if you listen close enough, you will find that half of the advertisement is someone listing off various and harmful side effects. Why are there so many dangerous drugs on the market? Shouldn’t the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) be testing these medications and stopping them from ever being sold?

FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

The FDA is the biggest government run organization tasked with identifying troublesome drugs and medications and weeding them out of the market before too much harm is done. They are also the ones in charge of stopping them from ever reaching the hands of the American consumer. But they rely on their secondary branch, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), for much of the work in this department, and evaluating is not testing.

As things stand now, drug manufacturers and the pharmaceutical companies creating these substances are the only ones who must test their products for dangerous side effects. Most will perform tests in a laboratory or on paper and move onto animal testing, which can produce questionable results. If the drug is approved – by their own regulators, that is – for human testing, the sample sizes can be small or only studied for a brief period of time. All of the data collected in their trials is then sent off to FDA CDER for review and approval.

There is reason for concern inherent in this process. If a drug company invests millions to make a drug and can only make those millions back by selling it, they have a clear interest in doing whatever they can to get it approved by the FDA. The clandestine nature of this procedure lends itself to falsifying numbers, hiding negative results, exaggerating benefits, and more. In the end, the FDA approves of drugs every year without ever really knowing how safe or dangerous they can be.

What Can Be Done About Dangerous Drugs?

Once a dangerous drug has been approved by the FDA, it can be difficult for them to pull it off shelves, or else risk jeopardizing their own credibility. In some cases, the most that they could do is force the manufacturer to put a larger warning label on the boxes. If you have already suffered the consequences of taking a dangerous drug, whether it was prescribed or purchased over-the-counter, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer for damages. Contact me, San Fernando Valley Personal Injury Attorney Joel Parker, to put 40+ years of proven experience on your side. Free consultations are available.

"It has always been my philosophy that the client's only job is to get better and my job is to handle everything else."

- Attorney Joel Parker

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