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Friday, January 7, 2011
WND Misleads About FDA Actions on Drugs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Gene Koprowski makes a rather desperate attempt to revive the discredited "death panels" smear on health care reform by claiming that the Food and Drug Administration "appear to have started making life or death choices for Americans in 2010 using the cost of a therapy, apparently, as a primary criterion for acceptance or rejection." Needless to say, Koprowski has to twist facts to do it and doesn't actually prove his allegation.

Koprowski asserted that "new drug approvals declined dramatically last year" at the FDA from 25 in 2009 to 21 in 2010. In fact, as Warren Throckmorton detailed, there's nothing at all dramatic about the decline -- three of the past 10 years saw few new FDA drug approvals than in 2010.

Koprowski also falsely claimed that the FDA revoked use of the drug Avastin for breast cancer because "the product didn't appear to help patients live longer at an affordable price." In fact, affordability had nothing to do with it; FDA advisory panels found that the drug did not extend patients' life spans at all compared to other treatments, and also increased the incidence of side effects and other complications.

Further undermining Koprowski's argument, the FDA doesn't even consider cost-effectiveness when reviewing drugs for approval, and he offers no evidence that it does.

Koprowski went on to falsely suggest that the FDA restricted use of the diabetes drug Avandia and withdrew painkillers Darvon and Darvocet from the market out of an effort to harm the profitability of their manufacturers. In fact, Avandia was restricted in both the U.S. and Europe because it's believed that thousands needlessly suffered a heart attack, stroke or heart failure, or died because of their use of the drug. As for Darvon and Darvocet, it was withdrawn because the drugs can cause potentially fatal heart arrythmia. (Darvon was first developed in the 1950s and has been available in generic form for decades, so development costs have presumably been amortized by now.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EST

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