Medicine and the Nanny State
FDA panel votes to allow continued sale of Cox-2 inhibitors Vioxx Could Rejoing Painkillers on the Market http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050220/ap_on_he_me/arthritis_drugs_16 Our Nanny State goes much to far in "protecting" citizens from any risk. As someone with a type of arthritis which responds well to Vioxx and Bextra and not well to anything else I've found, these arguments about slightly increased cardiovascular risk are overblown compared to the benefit of these drugs. The studies which demonstrate increased risk notably use doses which are much higher than what is typically prescribed, generally at least double to quadruple the dose. In very high concentrations most beneficial compounds or molecules can be dangerous. Just because high concentrations of oxygen can be toxic does not mean we should ban it. For me, Vioxx is a wonder drug. Unlike me, most people who are on these meds are probably older and not in great physical condition. They might already be at risk for heart attack and might be more concerned about that possibility than I am. However, I think most people who take Cox-2 meds would accept that risk in return for the benefit of living a normal life. I'm not yet 40 and in good physical shape generally and am more than willing to accept the miniscule additional risk in order to be able to walk, snowboard and sleep without intense pain. It's ironic that the one vote against Celebrex came from the "Consumer Advocate". Here's someone who obviously does not understand or represent the consumers of Cox-2 inhibitors. The FDA should err on the side of allowing medicines rather than refusing them, while insisting on adequate education and documentation about possible risks. The real risk here is trial lawyers looking for drug companies with deep pockets. That said, if a drug company knows about real risks and hides the information I would certainly go after them with zeal. Although the FDA panel vote is only advisory, and although the vote was much closer than it should have been (17-15 for Vioxx, 14-12 for Bextra), I offer my thanks to those panel members who voted in the real interest of public health.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Rossputin on 02/20/05 at 12:35:50 pm . Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.|