FDA: Prevent Poorly Tested Drugs From Claiming More Lives

Target: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Improve the FDA’s testing process for new drugs before allowing them to be sold commercially.

Almost a third of all drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are found to cause unexpected side effects, often years after they’ve already arrived on the market, according to new research from Yale University.

“The large percentage of problems was a surprise,” the study’s lead author Dr. Joseph Ross told NBC.

Not only is this a surprise, it’s also deeply disturbing. The FDA is supposed to be the American consumer’s frontline defense against potentially dangerous drugs, yet this new research suggests the agency just isn’t cutting it. Some of the unexpected effects of drugs found by researchers included liver damage, cancer, skin problems and even death. Some of these drugs have been so dangerous, they’ve eventually been recalled. One example of this was the psoriasis drug Raptiva, which was later found to cause a rare nervous system problem. Another withdrawn drug, the anti-inflammatory Bextra, was found to cause heart problems.

While the FDA no doubt has a tough job, some drug experts have raised concerns that pressure has been building in recent years for drugs to be approved too quickly. Thomas Moore from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices told NBC that since 2011, there’s been a notable rise in approving drugs based on relatively small scale experiments.

If you believe the FDA needs to do more to protect Americans from deadly side effects, please sign our petition urging the FDA to do more to protect consumers from potentially dangerous drugs.


Dear Dr. Scott Gottlieb,

As incoming commissioner of the FDA, you’re inheriting one of the country’s most important positions. As you take office, however, a new study from Yale University has surfaced showing that many drugs approved by the FDA are later found to have unexpected side effects. In fact, this study found as many as a third of all drugs approved by the FDA are later found to cause side effects that weren’t noticed during testing. These side effects range from minor skin problems, to liver damage and even death.

This is a massive problem for consumers, who can’t be sure an FDA approval actually means a drug is safe, or that all its effects are known and understood. The FDA obviously has a difficult job, and bad drugs will always slip through the cracks, no matter how diligent regulators are. However, this fact doesn’t change the reality that one-third of drugs come with unexpected complications is simply unacceptable.

We urge you to use your position as FDA commissioner to double down on safety, and raise the bar for allowing new drugs on the market.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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  1. Jenna Miles says:

    Yes, and to stop this, we need to us human relevant testing, not animal testing.

  2. The FDA’s approving of improperly tested drugs has been going on for many years. Way back in the 1950s and 60s this was happening, with the thousands of horrible deformities and deaths to babies, caused by the drug thalidomide, which had been administered to their pregnant mothers.
    They had NOT properly tested thalidomide. But they HAD done EXTENSIVE ANIMAL TESTING on this drug, which had shown there to be NO serious side effects. NO serious side effects in animals, but it turned out that it caused EXTREMELY serious side effects in people.
    I agree with commenter Jenna Miles – all drugs MUST be properly and extensively tested before being approved, and NOT ON ANIMALS. Animal testing is not only cruel, sadistic and barbaric, but is a complete FAILURE and a FRAUD.

  3. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    prevent this or ban drugs.

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