MY DRUG safety feature (http://bit.ly/drugssafety) last week elicited a response in the comments section - suggesting the need to be a consumer activist to fight for what I believe in. This prompted me to create a Banned Medicines blog at http://bannedmedicine.tumblr.com/ and I started putting in chemical ingredients used in medicine that were banned or declared as unsafe by drug agencies abroad.

It will take a lot of effort to keep the site updated but I hope readers who are knowledgeable on topics such as these can give inputs that will allow me to post relevant information as necessary.

I have not received any response so far from Bayer (makers of Saridon) and Department of Health on what I wrote last week. (Just in case some of you are looking forward to their answer being featured here.)

In the process of creating the site, I encountered another active ingredient on which the DOH issued a warning in 2009 for its removal from drug store shelves - phenylpropanolamine (http://bit.ly/phenylpropanolamine). Based on studies, this chemical exposes its consumers to hemorrhagic stroke risk, especially women. Most of the medicines in this category have already reformulated their product except for Sinutab Extra Strength, which is still available over-the-counter.

I think pharmacies have a great responsibility to ensure that the products they are selling do not contain ingredients that put consumers at a greater health risk, especially over-the-counter medicines that have been re-classified as to be taken with care (therefore needing doctor’s prescription).

Newspapers with health sections can also allot a section where latest findings in drugs can also be tackled for the welfare of consumers. More than just disseminating what are the latest offerings in this area, proactive release of info on medicines to watch out for, especially if these banned medicines can easily enter the country, is helpful.

I will definitely support aspiring lawmakers who will take health matters seriously and ensure that banned medicine ingredients will be out of reach of consumers. Make pharmacies, entities, and individuals accountable if they sell these types of drugs.

Health care costs increase as you get older. It will be very sad if you later find out that your current ailment is due to medicines you have taken in the past that were supposedly banned in the first place.

(http://digitalfilipino.com)

Original article: Toral: Monitoring banned medicines
 


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