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How many times do doctors prescribe drugs before recalls?

Patients worry about many things when taking prescription medications, including whether they'll suffer adverse side effects and whether it will be subject to a recall. Many patients suffer unexpected outcomes from taking prescription drugs that their doctors prescribe, yet most recalls don't happen until several adverse events occur.

A study published in The International Journal of Health Services in June of 2016 captured how doctors prescribe unsafe drugs as many as 100 million times before a recall happens in the U.S.

The researchers working on this study found that federal regulators approved then recalled an estimated 17 drugs between 1993 and 2010. Doctors prescribed at least nine of these at least one million times each before regulators recalled them from the market. Many of these underwent a fast-tracked approval process before manufacturers introduced them to the market.

This article's researchers also discovered that patients suffer as many as two million adverse drug reactions each year in the U.S. Yet, regulators don't often identify a pattern to these outcomes until several years after manufacturers place it on the market. They discovered that most recalls happen within the first 16 years after a drug's approval. Manufacturers recall 27 out of every 100 newly introduced drugs so that they can place black box warnings on them. Most manufacturers completely withdraw them from the market within five years of their introduction.

The researchers discovered that one reason why so regulators end up recalling so many drugs here in the U.S. likely has to do with the fact that they're faster to approve new drugs than compared to Japan, Canada and Europe. Drugs undergo a secondary review in Europe before any approval happens.

Japan, Canada and Europe also prohibit drug manufacturers from advertising directly to consumers. FDA regulators mostly stopped regulating consumer advertising in 1997. Manufacturers no longer have to be as forthright in reporting risks drugs pose, which allows them to be more persistent in pressuring doctors to prescribe and more patients to request them.

The FDA approves a significant number of new drugs each year, many of which haven't undergone thorough testing. Many patients suffer adverse health outcomes as a result. A pharmaceutical injury attorney can advise you of your right to recover compensation for any impairments you suffered from taking a dangerous drug.

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