The Drug For Rheumatoid And Acute Pain Essay

The Drug For Rheumatoid And Acute Pain Essay

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Vioxx is a drug for osteoarthritis and acute pain that was approved by the FDA in 1999. The drug was initially though to have an advantage over similar drugs for it’s fewer gastrointestinal side effects, but when further studies were conducted by the drug’s manufacture Merck, it was found to cause heart attacks, strokes, or even death. 5 years after it’s initial approval by the FDA, Vioxx was removed from the market. During this time, it earned the company billions of dollars but caused 140,000 heart attacks, 44 percent of which were fatal. These 56,000 deceased Americans are as many as were killed in the Vietnam War, and the FDA can be blamed. According to the documentary, three out of five people that voted to approve Vioxx were connected to the company producing it, and were only looking for financial gains. This is likely why the drug was marketed even though it was so dangerous. The FDA protects the financial interest of the pharmaceutical industry instead of the American public. Pharmaceutical companies pay the FDA to review and approve their drugs as quickly as possible. Therefore, the FDA is at fault because they knew the drug Vioxx was unsafe but did nothing about it.
The documentary interviewed multiple people who were prescribed Vioxx and experienced major side effects. One of the victims was a family physician who had a stroke while at work. Afterwards, he could no longer walk or speak effectively, and now has a sleep disorder, panic disorder, and is unable to work. Another victim had arthritis in her hands from a laborious job. She took Vioxx until she one day she became dizzy and couldn’t balance. She went to the ER and was told she had a stroke, forcing her to be retired from her job because she is too sick to work...


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...hink that it is not more widely known due to the media. It is possible that the media does not want the public to know that the FDA is not functioning as accurately or morally as it should be. After all, the media puts out advertisements for prescriptions and it may not want the public to know that the drugs can be dangerous. If a patient sees a drug on television, in a medical journal, etc. and mentions it to their doctor, they are more likely to be prescribed that drug. However, if people become more aware of the harsh side effects of prescription medications, they may be more likely to try a lifestyle or nutritional change instead.
Overall, I think that this documentary and supporting articles are important for both physicians and consumers to see. Regardless of the bias, these can be helpful for making informed decisions about the use of prescription medications.

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