Monday, March 09, 2009

What's wrong with Clinical Trials?

Almost every day a new drug is labeled "safe and effective" by the FDA and released onto the market. Because it is "safe and effective" doctors start to prescribe it and people start to take it, but how "safe and effective" is it really? All to often, after months or years of use a "safe and effective" drug is found to be "deadly and ineffective". Examples abound, like thalidomide (the wonder drug that was found to cause horrific birth defects), Vioxx (which caused severe and sometimes fatal heart problems) and Zyprexa (which caused diabetes in tens of thousands of people).

What enabled the drug to be labeled "safe and effective" were the results from the procedure know as a "Clinical Trial". So it would seem like a good idea to understand exactly what a clinical trial is and what the results from it actually mean. Here is an eye-opening video that will explain it to you.

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