FDA Should Take Lessons From The NHTSA
“DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the ceilings can catch fire in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
The probe, announced Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers an estimated 146,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles.
Three customers complained to the government that their ceilings caught fire near the passenger-side sun visor while they were driving, starting with a burning smell, then smoke and flames. In all three cases, customers lowered their windows to clear the smoke, but that increased the fire’s intensity, NHTSA said in documents posted on its website.”
In the above cited article, three customers complained to the government that the ceilings of their Jeep automobiles caught fire. After three complaints the NHTSA announced it will launch a probe into the incidents which could affect the owners of 146,000 vehicles on the road.
First, I want to applaud the NHTSA for their diligence in following up on the complaint from the three, count that “three”, citizens. I wonder if the NHTSA could extend their reach to the overview of pharmaceuticals, since other entities in the Federal Government have taken a blind eye to complaints from its citizens.
Take this for instance, during a period from 1997 to 2007 the main prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Levaquin, Floxin, Cipro, and Avelox) had caused a reported 163,329 adverse drug reactions and 3,124 deaths. Those figures are likely much, much higher due to the fact that the FDA states Medwatch was only catching between 1% and 10% of the actual number of occurrences during that time period. In addition, only four fluoroquinolones are listed in the above figures and, in actuality, there are many more on the market under both trade names and generics.
Since the Medwatch data, during that time period, only reflected a small percentage (between 1% and 10%), the actual death rate could have been more than 30,000 people from just these four fluoroquinolone drugs during that time period alone! Not to mention, that these drugs cause untold chronic suffering for tens of thousands more and have been implicated in many other illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more. Also, the fluoroquinolones are one of the top antibiotics prescribed worldwide, truly making this a global issue.
Still to this day, doctors remain uninformed, politicians placate but do not investigate, and the FDA shirks its duty ignoring the complaints of injured citizens, problems with drug safety, and manipulation of research data. What will it take to get proper oversight and stop the indiscriminate prescribing of these powerful and dangerous medications when, in most cases, a safer alternative exists?
It appears that the FDA needs to take lessons from the NHTSA.