The government on Friday began posting a list of prescription drugs under investigation for potential safety problems in an effort to better inform doctors and patients.
The first list is a bare-bones compilation naming 20 medications and the potential issue for each. It provides no indication of how widespread or serious the problems might be, leading some consumer advocates to question its usefulness, and prompting industry worries that skittish patients might stop taking a useful medication if they see it listed.
Food and Drug Administration officials said they are trying to walk a fine line in being more open to the public while avoiding needless scares. Congress, in a drug safety bill passed last year, ordered the agency to post quarterly listings of medications under investigation.http://www.fda.gov/cder/aers/potential_signals/potential_signals_2008Q1.htm