The FDA's biggest gift to Big Pharma could be YOUR biggest curse
If you've got a bad idea for a drug, the time to act is now. Dash off a letter to the FDA, slap a stamp on the envelope and mail it in.
Write it in crayon if you want, it doesn't really matter. Odds are it'll get the OK -- because the FDA has its finger on the approval button and it's showing no signs of letting go.
I get email alerts when new drugs are approved, and I've been getting them almost daily at times.
The other day, I got two of those messages in the same day!
I'm not the only one who's noticed this, as a new analysis finds the FDA's approval rate has hit stunning new highs.
Back in 2008, the FDA was already approving too many untested and unproven drugs -- but they also knew how to say "NO!" from time to time. Two-thirds of new drugs were rejected by the agency that year, according to the analysis from BioMedTracker and Forbes.
This year, of the 28 new drugs submitted to the agency, just three were rejected.
That's an approval rate of 89 percent -- and Forbes says even that stunning number doesn't tell the full story, because the BioMedTracker analysis includes new uses for already-approved meds.
If you include only truly new drugs -- drugs that have never before been marketed and sold in the United States -- the FDA's approval rate this year is a jaw dropping 96 percent with just one rejection (for the record, it was Merck's Bridion, which is supposed to undo the effects of anesthesia).
The FDA says it's just doing what it's told. Congress has ordered the agency to act faster, so they're acting faster.
But I don't think "act faster" means "approve faster." It could also mean DENY faster -- but they seem to have misplaced their "DENIED" stamp under a pile of applications, because they sure aren't using it.
Believe it or not, this could get even worse. The 21st Century Cures Act, a gift to Big Pharma from Congress, is supposed to make it even easier to get drugs approved.
Looks like they're shooting for 100 percent.
It's just one more reason to avoid those untested "cutting-edge" new drugs and stick to tried-and-true natural therapies -- because with so many meds being approved so quickly, it's only a matter of time before the next Vioxx or Avandia hits the market.