Television commercials advertising prescription drugs are becoming increasingly common. While some of these commercials may seem to be light-hearted or abstract, the fact of the matter is that they aim to increase the profits of the drug manufacturers. A rapidly-told list of all possible side effects can go by so quickly that consumers in Texas and nationwide may not be able to understand just how dangerous some drugs can be.
Texans in need of medication naturally expect that the medication has been thoroughly tested and is safe to use. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is committed to drug safety to further that interest. Thus, in addition to approving a medication for sale, the FDA will continue to monitor a medication as it is being used by consumers. If the FDA finds that a medication presents a health risk to consumers after being placed in the stream of commerce, the agency may recall the drug. There are a variety of reasons why the FDA will take a medication off the market.
It is imperative that drugs sold to consumers in Texas and nationwide are safe to use. Unfortunately, in an effort to cut corners and make larger profits, some unscrupulous drug manufacturers put their product in the stream of commerce even though they know the product is unsafe for its marketed use.
The element gadolinium is used as a contrast dye when a patient undergoes tests such as MRIs or CT scans. However, gadolinium drugs can be very dangerous for patients in Texas and across the nation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required that a "black box warning" be made a part of the drug label. However, the drug is still used and continues to harm patients due to serious side effects. Two of the most serious side effects are gadolinium deposition disease and nephrogenic system fibrosis.
Our nation is caught in the grip of an opioid epidemic, and the state of Texas is no exception. In 2017, a health care consulting company, Castlight Health, ranked the leading 25 cities in the United States in opioid abuse. Two of these cities were in Texas -- Longview and Texarkana.