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Hiding Drug Deaths From the FDA

Just another reason I urge you to take better responsibility for your health, and not leave it in the hands of a conflicted, compromised federal bureaucracy like the FDA: A disclosure of two more deaths during trials of the heart failure drug Natrecor (nesiritide), made by Scios (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary).

Company officials failed to alert federal officials about those deaths, bringing the total number of patients who died during the 30-day trial to seven. Not surprisingly, this newer number came three months after the original Natrecor study was published. Moreover, these additional deaths weren't identified, according to Scios, until a retrospective review of the effects of Natrecor on patients over a six-month period uncovered them.

Even without the disclosure, however, Natrecor sales had taken a tumble due to growing concerns about its safety versus the expense ($500 per toxic treatment).

Here's the really scary part folks that's so deftly communicated in this awesome New York Times piece: If an error like this can be so easily left out or ignored -- think the recent revelations regarding the toxicity of Vioxx in courtrooms around America -- just how deep is the rabbit hole?

New York Times January 4, 2006 Registration Required

Seattle Post-Intelligencer January 3, 2006

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