It is being reported that dietary supplements send thousands of people to emergency rooms across the country every year. A recent study tracked the number of people who go to the emergency room to be treated for reactions to dietary health supplements. The results of that study are startling and should put anyone taking certain types of supplements on notice.
The study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, reports that an estimated 23,005 people go to the emergency room to be treated for side effects of taking dietary supplements. From those 20,000 visits, more than 2,000 people on average are subsequently hospitalized for treatment. The cost to the overall health care system is another burden on an already expensive system.
The majority of emergency room visits are from unsupervised children and young adults taking supplements. The supplements involved include weight loss supplements and energy pills, both causing dangerous heart palpitations and conditions that scared the people taking them enough to send them to the hospital for treatment.
Dietary Supplement Health Act of 1994
Dietary supplements are not regulated like other pharmaceutical drugs in that the FDA does not study dietary supplements for effectiveness. Typical drugs used to treat diseases must go through a score of studies and evaluations all regulated by the FDA. If after all the studies and evaluations a drug is shown to effectively treat a disease, it can be marketed and sold to the public as a medicine.
In contrast, dietary supplements are regulated by the Dietary Supplement Health Act of 1994. This act regulates the labels that go on supplements, what supplements can be used, and the distribution and sale of dietary supplements. Under the provisions of the act, the primary thing that the FDA regulates is safety of supplements. As a result, dietary health supplements are not put under the same scrutiny as medicines designed to treat disease.
State and Federal Laws for Defective Pharmaceuticals and Supplements
Despite all the regulation in the world, defective pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements still make it into consumers’ hands. Dangerous drugs can be the cause of life-changing injuries that not only put people in the hospital, but cause permanent damage. It seems that everyday we hear stories of medicine that after being released to the public causes some previously unforeseen side effect or is recalled because it is dangerous to ingest.
As manufacturers and distributors of products that we consume, drug companies are under the requirements of state and federal law to provide a safe product. When these companies fail to do so and cause injury to the consumer, they should be made to pay for the damages. At The Pittman Firm we take on and pursue defective pharmaceutical cases to ensure that victims are justly compensated for the damages they suffer due to defective pills, drugs, and remedies. If you have been injured from taking bad medicine, contact us. We look forward to going over your case with you and informing you of your rights and options.