About half the F.D.A.'s budget for new drug reviews now comes from Big Pharmaceutical companies. This number is due to the fact that drug companies push for faster reviews so their new drugs can hit the market. The average approval time in 2003 was about 15.9 months, while in 2004 it dropped to 12.7 months. These numbers are better than they were leading up to 2003. Where it took two years or more to approve a new drug. This time was considered to be to long and it was felt that it could cause people to die unreasonably, because a cure was available but not yet approved.
With These new drugs being on what is considered to the fast track, is there any real dangers or risks? Well according to an industry group leader spokesman, Donald Trewhitt, "Over the last couple years, a half dozen or so pharmaceutical products have been cited for having safety problems."
The drug companies down play this major concern, but they do say that for every hundred drugs that hit the market less than one percent is pulled off the shelves. However, Trewhitt Backs the drug companies by saying, "That there are today nearly 2,500 brand name medicines on the market. And in the vast majority of cases, they are safely and effectively treating patients."
With very little sense of concern by the industry, does the F.D.A. feel the same way? This question has been asked by many insurance companies who refuse to pay for these new drugs, and doctors who are hesitant to prescribe them. This process of quick review does not allow the time for adequate review of potential dangers. This however is ignored by the F.D.A., and many believe that it is due to large amounts of money donated by the...