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Bob Carroll
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The Docs Are Confused By FDA

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The FDA is confusing the nation’s doctors with its drug advisories. As a result, the doctors are turning to private companies who may be more interested in earning a buck than educating the doctors. Lost in this mess is the patient who takes the drugs prescribed by the confused doctors being helped by the private shills. Does this make you feel safe taking that new prescription to the pharmacy (where confusion between drug names is the norm)? You may be better off suffering at home.

Physician Confusion Over Recent FDA Warnings

The Baltimore Sun on Friday examined how, as FDA recently has “issued more safety alerts, revised more drug package inserts and posted more updates on its Web site than ever before,” many physicians have experienced “trouble understanding and navigating” the information and have “turned to private collections of drug information” that “synthesize complex medical advisories in a user-friendly form.”

Susan Levine, associate executive director of the Permanente Medical Group in California, said, “It’s very tough for individual physicians in community practices to drink from this fire hydrant of unmanaged information coming at them.” According to the Sun, the trend has raised concerns among FDA officials, who “question the accuracy of information coming through private channels and fear it could be shaped by commercial interests.”

In response, FDA recently has proposed to make package inserts for medications “easier to understand” and has begun to develop two Web sites for “quick access to the latest drug information, along with alerts about possible drug risks that haven’t been confirmed,” the Sun reports. “It’s a bit of the Wild, Wild West out there. We think we can provide some order to the chaos,” Rachel Behrman, a deputy director at FDA, said (Rockoff, Baltimore Sun, 4/7).

From Medical News Today