I take one of the drugs mentioned in this article for ADHD, and this froightened me somewhat before it pissed me off.
Warning Urged for ADHD Drugs:
Several drugs widely used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder should carry a prominent "black box" warning because of reports that they may have caused sudden deaths or serious complications, a federal expert advisory panel recommended yesterday.
The proposal to require a warning on medications such as Adderall and Ritalin took the Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical companies and advocates by surprise. The panel voted 8 to 7 to call for the labeling change after reviewing reports of several dozen patients who suffered cardiac arrest, toxic reactions or sudden death while using the medications.
"On the surface, it is hard to believe," said Curt Furberg, professor of public health sciences at North Carolina's Wake Forest University Medical School, who voted for the black-box warning. "What is also interesting is this condition is not really recognized in other countries -- you wonder what we are treating. I am sure there are patients who need these drugs, but it is not 10 percent of all 10-year-old boys."
FDA officials, who convened the panel to discuss how best to assess the risks of the drugs, said they would weigh the recommendation. The panel called for warning labels on methylphenidate drugs, sold under the brand names Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin and Metadate, and on the amphetamines Adderall and Adderall XR.
Much as in the debate over antidepressants, Nissen and Furberg said the committee was not just weighing uncertain signals of risk but broader questions, such as how often the drugs are used and the impact of drug industry marketing. A black-box warning would probably curb direct-to-consumer advertising.
"I felt strongly we need to slow the growth of utilization," Nissen said, adding that about 2.5 million children and 1.5 million adults are taking the drugs. "When you have that kind of exposure for drugs that are suspicious, that does create a major public health concern."
No no no no! If you feel that way, get the fuck off the panel. If you want to totally fuck up the public's trust in the FDA, make the issue of whether a drugs side-effects are significant tied to whether you think it should be prescribed less. You're admitting that if this was some anti-allergy drug with the incidence of those side effects, you wouldn't give a shit. The FDA should be judging safety based on the data, not on how much the drugs are used. This is no way to run a drug safety agency. This is the road to PR telling the public what drugs are safe and which aren't. This is the road to influence and bribery infecting the FDA. Nissen and Furberg, resign and stay the fuck away from the FDA. This is a fucking travesty. You were given a simple task of saying whether you think these drugs are safe, and you turn into a medical-political crusade. You're more politicians than men of science you dipshits. Go fuck yourselves.