Does the FDA really protect us from dangerous drugs?

Does the FDA really protect us from dangerous drugs?

I’ve got an incredible story for today’s blog that I wanted to share. I think it’s essential for you, but I need to preface some of the stories with some background information, and today’s background information will bore you to tears. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. It’s me. So tonight’s background information concerns the FDA and the Food and Drug Administration. Have you ever heard those letters before? Then you hear about it in the news occasionally. It seems like everyone has a positive or negative connotation with the FDA these days.

First, let’s dive into where it started, why it started, and maybe what it’s become. The U.S. government realized that food items, drinks, drugs, and snake oil-type things were being sold all over the place. And we needed some way to stop that because it was killing people, so in 1906, they came up with the Wiley Act that created the Food and Drug Administration. It was good then and now,  115 years later, we have something that’s very, very different. The FDA now does a variety of things. Some studies show that approximately 90% of the drugs approved by the FDA in the past 30 years are little or no more effective than existing drugs. All those drugs they’re coming out with might be better than placebos that they’re tested against, but they’re not necessarily better than those already on the market. So that’s important because now you have these drug companies pushing dollars into the FDA to have them race through to clear these new medications to keep them patented. But they’re not better than what’s already out there and available at a lower cost.

That’s important because prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death. And if we are rushing drugs to markets, we’re not necessarily making sure that they are the safest thing that patients will be taking. So that’s not so good. The pharmaceutical industry starts making these significant contributions to the FDA, and then suddenly, we are awash in extra medications that make pharmaceutical companies money but don’t necessarily make us healthier and better.

If the only thing that the FDA was providing quality medications that are safe, effective, and usable, that would be one thing.  But I’d like to share a story for you about why these things are important. On Monday, a patient came in, Miss Sarah. She’s 80 years old and had a kidney transplant about ten years ago. She has a variety of medical conditions: hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, type two diabetes, just a litany of conditions, and she needs help. She asked me for help getting a supplement that she’s been taking. Her friend in Chile was buying it in Mexico and then shipping it to rse. And so she whips out this bottle called Artri Ajo King.

I looked at the ingredients listed: glucosamine, collagen, vitamin C curcumin, Omega 3 fish oil, and MSM. So this sounds like it is a fantastic joint supplement on his face. Why wouldn’t I help Miss Sarah try and find this great supplement?

So I Googled it quickly to see where we could find it for Sarah. And I bumped into an article from April 20, 2022. And this is the reason that Sarah can’t find this supplement. So on April 20, 2022, the FDA did its job. And what they did was reduce deaths and then test medications to see what was in them. And they found that this supplement contains diclofenac, which can cause cardiac issues, as well as muscle relaxers that can cause drowsiness or irregular movement.

Of course Sarah was feeling better taking these things! She’s taking a cocktail that we use at the emergency room for trauma, and her joints are feeling better because she’s taking all the things that naturally make her feel better. But in this context, they’re not being used appropriately, and the FDA stepped in and set it all down. Good job. FDA! That’s what we’re looking for. But it brings us to a couple of different essential connotations to this evening: if you’ve ever seen this supplement, if you have the supplement, stop taking this Artri Ajo King as quickly as you can. It is not suitable for you. It’s loaded with all kinds of weird stuff, and you can look at the FDA released many articles about it. The moral of the story is, you’ve got to be responsible for everything you’re taking. As attractive as this bottle is, it is missing an essential thing the FDA requires. And that is the nutritional facts, that little white label with all the ingredients and how much of them relate to your recommended daily allowance. And if it’s got other weird stuff and all the elements, but it doesn’t have that, you want to avoid it. The FDA is paying attention to purity, and processing standards. I hope this information can help somebody out there. If you ever have questions about nutritional supplementation, I’m always happy to help here at our downtown Orlando chiropractic office.

About Dr. Merrill

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Dr. Andrew Merrill is a passionate active clinician and owner of Nightlight Chiropractic Orlando where him and his team treat hundreds of patients each month. With a strong background in exercise science from Stetson University, clinical skills from Palmer College of Chiropractic, and continued postdoctoral training in spinal disc injuries and clinical nutrition, Dr. Merrill is very well versed in the healthcare landscape. With topics ranging from "what to do for common ailments" to "why the medical system is failing you" Dr. Merrill and this blog in particular aim to keep readers up to date on what the research shows and how you can put it into practice NOW to keep yourself healthy for a lifetime.