Two major milestones — both very grim — will probably be passed sometime this year.
If the numbers for the past decade continue their rate of trending upward, 2011 will become the first year that the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting Service (AERS) will record more than 100,000 deaths linked to patent drug use.
And milestone two: This may also be the first year AERS will record more than half a million serious patient outcomes. (These outcomes include death, hospitalization, disability, etc.)
But don’t expect to hear this reported on the news, or even buried on page 15 of your hometown newspaper. I predict no
major news outlet will touch it because the media can’t survive without drug company advertising.
Nevertheless, it’s a newsworthy national disgrace, shared by our frighteningly inept FDA.
For some perspective, consider this: In 2000, AERS deaths totaled well under 20,000, and serious outcomes numbered
less than 154,000.
20,000? That’s completely unacceptable! But between 2000 and 2010, the total deaths number 452,000.
And that brings us to grim milestone number three: From 2000 through 2011, the number of deaths reported as adverse
events will probably total more than half a million.
That’s the population of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Completely unacceptable and mostly avoidable.
It’s time for the FDA to step back, review these numbers and recognize what the fast-tracking, over-prescribing, drugs-at-all-costs mentality is doing to the people it is supposed to be protecting. Or that number will surely jump exponentially in the next decade too.
“AERS Patient Outcomes by Year” FDA, 12/31/10, fda.gov