Monday, January 18, 2010

We assume

We assume as residents of the US that we are entitled to some of the best health care and medications available (albeit possibly at a price). However this morning, I would like to go rap some people up side the head.

First of all, you people over at Johnson & Johnson selling moldy Tylenol. You were told in November you had moldy Tylenol. You finally only pulled it off the shelves this week. That would be two months. Are you slow? And now the FDA might make an example out of you. (Don't get the FDA mad, or I think you will never get another drug approved!) If you had moldy smells and tracked it to what the wood pallets are treated with I think two months is plenty of time to fix this issue. And if it was only a limited recall originally, when it was expanded that might say 'hmmm, perhaps we didn't do enough'. Well, now the damage is done.

I was in Walgreen's last week and all Tylenol was pulled from the shelves. The last time I saw a Tylenol recall like this was the early 1980's in metro Chicago. We assume as a customer of a national chain, we are going to purchase a quality product, particularly when we plan to buy the name brand and not the generic or store brand.

Then, there are the 'lucky' people at a local school who did not get H1N1 flu shots, but got a combination with insulin. The news reported only six people had a reaction to this mix but insulin can be deadly to those with blood sugar issues I think.

Last fall there were the other flu shots which were recalled because they were shown to have lost their effectiveness.

One side of the coin is that the FDA has stringent requirements to get medications on the market and to ensure that the public receives the correct doses and drugs. But the other side of the coin are the claims that the FDA is slow to respond and has lengthy requirements to bring a product to market, which drive up the costs of name brand prescriptions and prolong the time required to bring generics to market. Its a fine line. We assume as the public we are getting what we need, the label says and its good quality. We have a right to assume that. But we also need to back the FDA to ensure that they can do their job.


Ann said...

Maybe all those products are imported from China.

I'll never back any bloated government bureaucracy and I never assume the government can do anything appropriately. If the FDA would pay more attention to efficacy and less attention trying to micromanage opiates away from stage IV cancer patients, or delaying the approval of medications already proven safe, then I'll reconsider.

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