If you’re taking any kind of prescription medications, you maybe about to learn that they’re taking the lives of thousands of people.
In the last decade, at least 26 medications have been pulled off the shelf due to their serious, often fatal side effects. Sometimes in addition to being harmful, the drugs were also proven completely useless.
Tens, even hundreds of thousands people have died from these drugs that were previously approved by FDA and other drug administrations around the world.
Some of those drugs were the best selling drugs in their class and used by millions of people all over the world for years. And the executives of the drug companies even knew about the risk their drugs caused.
This has to bring up the question about how safe the drugs currently on the market are. Could the small pill you take daily be killing thousands of people as we speak?
The most famous and devastating case of FDA drug withdrawal is the case of Vioxx. This miracle drug was sold in 80 countries for over $2.5 billion in 2003. It was meant to ease arthritis pain and did a pretty good job, except that twice as many of those who took the drug died of heart attack and stroke compared to those who didn’t take the drug.
The scary part of the Vioxx story is that its deadly side effects were mostly discovered by coincidence.
You see, Vioxx was competing against other arthritis drugs. And it was no better at easing the pain than previous drugs. But Merck (the drug company making Vioxx) claimed that it caused less side effects in form of digestive tract complications.
But the FDA didn’t buy it. So to prove a point, Merck funded a big study comparing Vioxx to its competitors. And yes, the study showed somewhat less digestive problems. But at the same time it revealed that 2X more people using Vioxx died of heart attack and stroke.
So how did the executives deal with this discovery? They brushed it off claiming that it wasn’t Vioxx that was so bad, it was the competition drug that was so good for preventing heart attack (if this doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. It didn’t make sense to anyone except Merck and the FDA).
Note that the discovery was made and revealed to the FDA in 2000. But it wasn’t till 2002 that the FDA suggested that Merck put a disclaimer on their bottle mentioning possible side effects of heart attack and stroke (you know those endless lists you hear at the end of every drug advertisement).
And it wasn’t till end of 2003, after an even bigger and more independent study revealed just how deadly Vioxx really was. At that point, 27,000 people had died prematurely due to the side effects of Vioxx. Most of those people would have been saved if the drug had been pulled out of the market immediately after the first study in 2000 (less than a year after it entered the market) or was never approved at all.
So the first lessen to be learned from the Vioxx example is not to expect the drug companies or government agencies to act quickly. Everyone (including the media) knew about this in 2000 but nobody did anything. So keep your eyes open for any news or rumors about the drugs you take. And even if everyone says it’s safe, have a long talk with your doctor about alternatives.
The second thing to consider is that the deadly effects of Vioxx were mostly discovered by coincidence. If Merck hadn’t been pushing the FDA so strongly to recognize Vioxx had fewer digestive problems associated with it, it would probably still be sold in stores today. Apparently nobody noticed its effects on stroke and heart attack in the initial FDA approval.
And researchers could have brushed the results under the table if they hadn’t been so clear. A 20%, 30%, even 40% increase would never have been revealed. But a whopping 100% increase was not possible to ignore.
It takes a lot for FDA to pull a medication off the market. Not only do they need really clear evidence that the drug is harmful, they also lose face every time they do it. In the Vioxx case, there was actually strong evidence that the FDA tried its best to block the revealing of the second study.
This means that there may be hundreds of medications on the market that are causing stroke, heart attack, cancer, diabetes or any other deadly diseases that “nobody” knows about – or is saying anything about it.
Vioxx is only one of many drugs that have been pulled off the market due to their serious side effects. And it shows how much it takes for a drug to be withdrawn.
What scares me even more is when studies come out revealing how ineffective common drugs are. These drugs are used by millions of people and sold for billions of dollars and cause endless side effects- but may not do much good.
Statin drugs prevent less than 2% (at best) of heart problems (including heart attack and stroke). So if you’re at one in fifty (1/50) risk of having a heart attack without statins, by taking statins, you lower your risk to one in fifty one (1/51). Not a big difference is there?
So you think it’s worth it?
You see, at the same time, taking statins increases the risk of several other diseases such diabetes and dementia plus causing a series of other side effects. And as the example of Vioxx above proves, we really have no idea what kind of health hazards statins REALLY cause.
Statin drugs have actually never been approved by the FDA to be used so much. They’re only approved for people with extremely high cholesterol levels who have ALREADY suffered a heart attack or stroke. For anybody else, even the FDA doesn’t consider that the benefits outweigh the risk.
But the greedy pharmaceutical companies are pushing their drugs just the way Merck did with Vioxx. They’d never sell as many Statins as they do if they only marketed to people who already suffered stroke or heart attack.
You should, however, never change your medications without consulting your doctor. The withdrawal symptoms can be deadly.
The good news is that you can drastically lower your risk of heart attack and stroke (way beyond the 2% of statin drugs) by making some lifestyle changes to manage your cholesterol and blood pressure. And there is no risk of side effects.
Check out our all-natural step-by-step approach to lower cholesterol…
Or learn simple, easy exercises that drop blood pressure below 120/80 as soon as today…