Study: Americans Dangerously Uninformed About Drug Benefits and Risks

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that Americans are dangerously uninformed about prescription drug dangers. In fact, many seem to believe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t approve drugs unless they are extremely effective and safe — showing only minor side effects.

The study also shows that Americans think that the FDA only approves newer drugs that are better than the older medications of the same class. The study was conducted with researchers surveying 3,000 adults on their opinion of the truth behind FDA-approved medications. The researchers then took that information and tested them on how to choose the right drug. Researchers reported that 39 percent of the people surveyed believed that the FDA only approved drugs that were “extremely effective” and 25 percent of them believed that the FDA automatically rejected drugs that had serious side effects. It should be noted that both of these assumptions are not true. In fact, drug manufacturers only have to show the FDA that the benefits outweigh the risks to get approval.

With the bar set so low, it is no wonder that people taking drugs like Topamax, used to treat epileptic seizures, end up suffering from serious adverse side effects that eventually lead to lawsuits against the manufacturers. Studies on Topamax have shown that the drug causes birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Some of the birth defects include oral clefts, cleft palate, heart defects and spina bifida. Had many of the mothers known of the risks associated with Topamax, many of them likely wouldn’t have taken the drug while pregnant.

With so much misinformation surrounding the public’s general opinions of FDA regulations, patients end up suffering from many life-threatening conditions after taking FDA-approved drugs. If your child has suffered from birth defects after being exposed to Topamax during pregnancy, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and will work hard to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.

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