Do you know a man who has Parkinson’s? You’ll want to make sure he reads this.
Because the FDA is investigating a link between a major Parkinson’s drug and an increased risk of prostate cancer. It seems a long-term trial of Novartis AG’s Stalevo “unexpectedly” turned up data that found more men taking Stalevo had prostate cancer than those taking another treatment.
I love it when they say that, “unexpectedly.” You know why it’s unexpected? Because trials put in front of the FDA for drug approval often don’t last long enough to show the worst risks and side effects.
The drug companies pay for the trials, they get the information they’re looking for (and often conveniently drop the rest), and throw it to the FDA to get the green light to start making cash.
I’d like to think drug trials are about finding the safest and most effective drugs — but it seems to me they’re really about getting a drug to market as fast as possible.
So it’s no wonder we start hearing about problems like this once a drug has already been available for a while.
Of course, the FDA is saying patients shouldn’t stop taking their Stalevo, as they’re “exploring additional ways to better understand if Stalevo actually increases the risk of prostate cancer,” as stated on their website.
We don’t want to rock the boat, after all — not when Stalevo and another Novartis Parkinson’s drug, Comtan, raked in $554 million last year.
But what about people who haven’t started talking Stalevo yet? Are doctors going to go on prescribing it until the FDA completes their evaluation? How long could that be?
Why wait around for them to figure it out? You don’t have to risk getting a second disease in trying to treat the first. Not when there are other treatments out there — treatments that won’t risk your life.
Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.
Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.
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