Disapprove of Drug Ads? Suffered Adverse Events? Do Something About Them!

I’ve told you before about one of my patient advocacy colleagues, Kim Witzcak. Kim’s husband, Woody, a vibrant, successful, energetic young man, committed suicide after being prescribed a drug to help him sleep. Since figuring out the basis for Woody’s complete change of personality — Zoloft — Kim has since campaigned to make the world more aware of problems in the American system of getting drugs approved — problems which have resulted in deaths and debilitations, like Woody’s.

One of Kim’s first successes was to get federal legislation passed that would require pharmaceutical companies to divulge ALL tests on drugs before they are approved by the FDA. In other words, companies like Merck, which covered up problems with Vioxx, and Glaxo Smith Kline, which it seems may have (this is not proven yet) covered up trial results for Paxil, will no longer be able to keep those cuprescription.gifresults from being public.

Now for round #2. This time Kim is working with Consumer’s Union on a new project — and you can help. This time she is taking on those ads you see on TV, in magazines, on the radio, and in other media for drugs that you can’t purchase without a prescription anyway. Those ads are never going to go away — because they work. BUT, they can carry with them a toll-free phone number and a link to a website to make it easier to report adverse events, meaning problems, for patients who experience bad outcomes from any of those drugs.

You can participate! And it won’t take you more than a minute. Consumer’s Union — the folks that bring you Consumer Reports — has set up an online petition. They hope for 50,000 signatures…. so log on right now and sign it.

Thanks to Kim for her diligence — AND the lives she may be saving. Another example of fixing.

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