Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Can I take Viagra till I need glasses?

Yeah yeah, I'm sure a million people have already used that line but what the heck.

It may well turn out that Viagra does not increase the risk of blindness, but regardless, the latest post-marketing drug safety flap reminds us of something very important. As Paracelsus (1493-1541 wrote, "All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison." Pharmaceuticals are, by definition, powerfully biologically active substances. Most of the stuff in your medicine cabinet would kill you if you swallowed only a few grams of it. Indeed, on that basis -- the dose required to kill the average person -- nicotine is 100 times as toxic as DDT. But of course we have banned the use of DDT in the United States, while it is perfectly legal to purchase and ingest nicotine (although not recommended), although DDT has a legitimate economic use and nicotine is simply an addictive drug.

Drugs inevitably come with risks as well as benefits. Our problem is not that the FDA approves drugs which turn out to be unsafe. That can't be helped. The problem is that we often find out about risks of drugs only after they have been approved and widely marketed, and those unpleasant surprises often mean that people would have chosen not to take the drugs after all. This is difficult to avoid entirely, but the problem is greatly exacerbated by our system for evaluating the safety and effectiveness of new drugs. For the most part, the manufacturers pay for drug trials, and they frequently make investigators sign contracts that give the drug companies control over the data and publication of results. They suppres unfavorable information, and design trials so as to show their products in the most favorable light -- as by comparing them with alternatives they already know are not the best available, limiting trial subjects to people with comparatively low risk of adverse effects, limiting the length of follow up, etc.

This system needs to be radically redesigned, to serve the public interest rather than the profit interest of manufacturers of proprietary drugs. We'll discuss some options here in the days ahead.

8 comments:

drnandita said...

The physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction interact. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can worsen erectile dysfunction. http://www.viagraforce.com

Viagra Online said...

Hello
I really like your ideas about posting comments. i am a new for blog posting and i just like your thoughtful post

D'r kepler said...

FDA approved mens health medication viagra is not a drug to be taken lighliy you should read all about the pros and cons regarding the medication before you buy viagra!

mollyabraham said...

Generic Viagra has helped millions of men with erectile dysfunction achieve improved erections. This pill is shown to help men get and keep an erection for successful intercourse.

reggiewhite said...

Generic Cialis works by helping the blood vessels in your penis to relax, allowing the flow of blood into your penis. The result of this is improved erectile function.

johnnysmith said...

Generic Cialis is slightly different from the other erectile drugs available in the market as it may work up to 36 hrs after dosing. Generic Levitra orks along with sexual stimulation to help achieve an erection when taken 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity.

tom said...

Buy Phentermine

Buy Phentermine Online

Buy Xanax Online

Buy Vicodin Online

Buy Hydrocodone No Prescription

Buy Hydrocodone Online

Buy Vicodin No Prescription

Buy Vicodin Online

Buy Oxycodone Online

Buy Oxycontin Online

Buy Oxycodone

Ambien

Buy Ambien Online

Buy Valium Online

Cialis

Viagra

Buy Adipex

Buy Acomplia

Buy Ambien

Buy Cheap Levitra

Buy Cheap Viagra

Buy Zolpidem
Buy Xenical

Buy Xanax

Xanax

Buy Vicodin

Buy Viagra

Buy Ultram

Buy Valium

Buy Soma

Buy Percocet

Buy Levitra

Buy Hydrocodone

Buy Cialis

Buy Cialis Online

Buy Lipitor

Hydrocodone

Buy Vicodin

Buy Hydrocodone

Anonymous said...

Generic Viagra improves erections for most men no matter how long they have had erectile dysfunction, taken approximately 30 minutes before your plan of sexual activity and works on stimulation for around 4 hours.