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A New Toxic Drug Threat in Your Own Backyard?

The cover story of this morning's USA Today presented a new potentially new threat to your health coming via toxic drugs, as discovered by an observant mom whose asthmatic son relies on prescription medications dispensed through a tabletop machine. After changing pharmacies, the mother noticed the new asthma prescription looked and smelled different than previous scripts for Pulmicort. The pharmacist assured the woman her son's drug was merely generic. But, not so fast: AstraZenica never made a generic for Pulmicort.

Instead, the drug was made by one of many state-regulated pharmacies that aren't held to the same quality and safety rules as are national drugmakers, meaning their ingredients are never tested for their efficacy. (Many have found a comfortable niche making respiratory drugs with profit margins than can exceed 75 percent.) Even worse, some companies appear to be in the business of skirting federal regs by mass-producing drugs, sometimes making contaminated, ineffective or too-potent products.

And, in the overwhelming majority of states, the final product isn't checked the final products for potency or sterility. Nor are the state drugmakers required to report problems with their concoctions.

Nevertheless, some problems have been to heard to ignore. One Missouri pharmacy may have its license yanked for failing to recall more than 2 million doses of respiratory drugs tainted with bacteria. Three more pharmacies recently settled with vaccine giant Chiron -- no stranger to tainted formulations either -- for selling versions of its patented antibiotic, tobramycin.

This is just another example of a modern health care system, responsible for allowing countless unnecessary surgical procedures, drugs and errors, in complete disarray. That's why it is important for you to focus on finding the underlying cause of your health issue and then seek to understand it so you can address its true cause.

What many people do not realize is that it is possible to maintain and optimize their health by avoiding unnecessary drugs. That comes by gaining a comprehensive, clear and researched understanding of good nutrition and proper lifestyle choices. There are a number of ways to achieve optimal health (without the use of harmful drugs) that seem to hold true for all people:

USA Today March 24, 2005

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