Monday, June 29, 2009
The Associated Press reports on the FDA's renewed focus on painkillers and their damaging side effects. The article provides,
Acetaminophen overdoses send an estimated 56,000 people to the emergency room each year, according to the FDA. Despite decades of educational campaigns, bolstered warnings and other federal actions, acetaminophen continues to be the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. . . .
The FDA does not have to follow the group's advice, though it usually does. Individual companies already are sparring in an effort to influence the FDA's decision. Panelists will be asked to vote on a range of options: adding a "black box" warning label to the products, lowering the drug dosage in some products, or pulling certain types of medications off the market — which could cost manufacturers millions in sales. The drugs that could be pulled off store shelves are combination medications, such as Procter & Gamble's NyQuil or Novartis' Theraflu, which combine acetaminophen with other ingredients that treat cough and runny nose....