Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Multaq is a dangerous drug

Multaq has been around a couple of years now. Initially it was supposed to show such fantastic results the FDA in the USA 'fast-tracked' it for approval. Then, of course, after 1000s, millions of patients suffer, the truth begins to trickle out. The drug is dangerous. It causes disease, and death.

But nothing is done, immediately, of course. The evidence of harm has to be more extreme, or experienced over a longer term. Patients are not told anything other than that "the benefits outweigh the disadvantages".

Pharmalot has now outlined the short history of the drug at  http://www.pharmalot.com/2010/11/heartstopping-news-more-multaq-safety-signals/

" Since its approval last year, the Sanofi-Aventis Moltaq heart drug has been controversial. For instance, a study published last spring found the pill is only modestly effective and has not clear safety benefits and more recently, questions were raised about the study that led to FDA approval.

Now, a new analysis of FDA adverse event reports indicate Multaq may cause or worsen heart failure, trigger potentially lethal irregular heartbeats and impair kidney function. There is also a glaring discrepancy between the language in the Med Guide given docs and patients, and the warning label about pregnant patients. And the findings led The Institute for Safe Medicine Practices, which conducted the analysis, to conclude that “we have seldom seen a drug with so many issues in so many areas of its safety profile.”
Why? The non-profit points out that development stopped several years ago after a study of patients with severe heart failure found the drug doubled the risk of death; other data found signals of cancer and birth defects in animals; there are potentially serious interactions with other drugs used to treat atrial fibrillation, and Multaq causes new heart rhythm disturbances in some patients.
The report goes into more detail about the findings, but what is important is what this story tells patients. This is a relatively 'new' drug, so 'good' that the FDA wanted you to have it as quickly as possible. Within less than 2 years, serious disease-inducing-effects (DIEs) have been reported.

But patients will not be told. Nor will the drug be withdrawn, at least not yet. It might take a decade for this to happen. Big Pharma is the only industry allowed to peddle dangerous merchandise to customers which are unsafe, and are given the benefit of the doubt. They may purchase 'scientists' to provide spurious evidence of safety. The medical science never protects patients from these drugs.

Imagine what would happen to a car company if they produced a succession of cars that proved to be unsafe! The company would be in big trouble. People would not buy their cars. The mainstream media would publicise the dangers, and warn the public. The government would demand action.

But none of this happens as far as Big Pharma drugs are concerned. Their products are considered 'safe' until they are proven to be dangerous. They are treated in exactly the opposite way to any other industry.

This blog will keep an eye on the future of this drug, which if it takes a normal course will end in the drug company withdrawing it, or the FDA banning it. 

Yet for many patients, this will be too late. So anyone who knows about these 'early' problems should take sensible precautionary action now. I suggest that they tell their doctors they are not prepared to take the drug, and demand to be told the whole truth!