It seems as though 2018 is turning out to be a bad year for people across the country, including many here in Ohio, to be on a blood pressure medication. Already this year, the Food and Drug Administration has announced recalls of medications containing valsartan. The recall was expanded in August. In October, two more recalls were announced of drugs prescribed for the same purpose.
Many people here in Ohio and across the country take prescription and over-the-counter medications that they believe to be safe. The Food and Drug Administration recalled two of those drugs prescribed for high blood pressure this year. The fact that these recalls affected a large number of people created an opportunity to remind consumers what to do if a recall is issued or they suffer ill effects from a medication.
Last year, the federal government announced that the addiction and abuse of opioids had reached epidemic and dangerous proportions across the nation, including here in Ohio. In an attempt to combat this crisis, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a strategy involving five key points. Whether the plan actually reduces the number of drug injuries from these narcotics remains to be seen.
Many Ohio residents turn to dietary supplements with the specific intention of avoiding pharmaceutical drugs. For whatever reason, they use what they believe to be more natural and healthier alternatives, believing they are doing what is best for their health. Sadly, this may not be the case since the Food and Drug Administration failed to recall dietary supplements with undisclosed pharmaceutical ingredients that could cause serious health repercussions for consumers.
Medicinal products are supposed to make people everywhere, including here in Ohio, feel better. However, when manufacturing processes turn them into tainted products, people could suffer serious harm. The companies who manufacture these medications have a responsibility to warn potential victims and get them off the shelves by recalling them and announcing it to the public.
Pharmaceutical companies have made billions, if not trillions, of dollars providing medication to this country's population. Ill or injured people here in Ohio and across the country take a variety of prescription drugs every day for both acute and chronic conditions. Some medications that were meant for acute injuries turned out to be highly addictive, which has led to an epidemic of addiction that this country may never have seen before. Many believe that opioid manufacturers and distributors caused this epidemic, and some have filed litigation to hold these companies accountable.
Many women across the country, and here in Ohio, know that they are not ready to have children. They use any number of forms of birth control in order to avoid pregnancy. Many birth control devices and medications come with significant risks even with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. In April, the FDA issued an action for Bayer to restrict the sale of a birth control device it manufactures called Essure because of the risks it poses to the women who use it.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the ability to track prescriptions to Medicaid participants. The agency used this data to track the over-prescribing of opioids here in Ohio from June 2016 through May 2017. The results were alarming.
Many of the medications manufactured and prescribed in this country expand the lives of millions of people across the country. It is the job of the Food and Drug Administration to make sure that those medications cause no unnecessary harm to patients. Unfortunately, people across the country, including many here in Ohio, continue to suffer harm, and sometimes, recalls do not get to everyone in time.
It would be difficult for Ohio residents to read any online news without reading about the opioid crisis going on in the country. People are overdosing and suffering from addictions at an alarming rate. When a patient comes in who appears to be overdosing on opioids, medical personnel may use Narcan, the brand name of naloxone, which is as an antidote. However, right now, that could do more harm than good since the Food and Drug Administration recently announced a recall involving Narcan.