On Wednesday, the FDA ordered over 500 different prescription medications for cough, cold, and allergy off the market because they had not been evaluated for safety or quality. While it sounds like a major breakthrough in regard to drug safety on the outside, most people who read that bit of news will simply forget that the vast majority of Americans who purchase cold or allergy medicines do so over the counter. Its only an incredibly small percentage of the population ever receives a prescription for cold medication. Even those who do are more likely to buy something over the counter rather than pay the high prescription prices for something that, in all likelihood, works just the same.
The FDAs comment was that removing the products from the market poses no harm to consumers, but taking unapproved drugs may put peoples health at risk. With side effect after side effect adding up to a list thats just as long as many drugs directions and warnings, most people these days know that taking drugs that even ARE approved can be dangerous. While there are some good things to come from these drugs being pulled, such as a cold medicine that is directed for use in children 1 month old, (the FDA doesnt recommend cold medicines for ANY children under 2 years) it seems more likely to be a smoke screen. After all, prescription cold medications arent exactly major breadwinners.
The other context that the health conscious should look at is the FDAs actual reasoning for pulling these drugs, because they are unapproved drugs. There are plenty of other unapproved drugs in existenc
For example, sodium fluoride is considered an unapproved drug by the FDA. However, it is freely dumped into municipal water supplies under the guise of cavity prevention. Even in 2011, its still touted as being for dental care. Consider that most people dont even drink tap water anymore, and those who do have it filtered in one way or another. Most of that water has other uses like bathing, for example. The numbers keep adding up too, as a recent report by the CDC announced that 40% of adolescents in the US have mild to severe dental fluorosis caused by over exposure.
Unapproved drugs will always find their way into the market. How long they stay there will greatly depend on the revenue that they generate.