You don’t know the truth about drug abuse. Many people think drug abuse is about using illicit drugs like marijuana and heroin.
But 9.7 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers in 2019 alone. Thousands of other Americans experienced side effects and complications from using their prescriptions.
That’s why the United States government takes drug safety so seriously. If you want to end a drug problem, you have to understand what drug safety entails.
What is the role of government agencies in drug safety? Who is responsible for testing prescriptions? What do private organizations do?
Answer these questions and you can be part of the solution for prescription drug problems. Here is your quick guide.
The Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for prescription drug safety. It must approve prescription drugs before they go on the market, regardless of what they are.
The FDA has a long process for drug safety testing. It runs clinical trials to determine what the effects of the drugs are on people and animals.
It compares the prescriptions to placebos. Placebos are dummy medications that elicit no effects.
Herbal supplements and over-the-counter drugs do not receive formal approval. But the FDA monitors the ingredients in them and their labeling so the supplements are safe.
Generic drugs are drugs that have the same active ingredients as name-brand drugs, yet they are not sold under a brand name. The FDA approves all generic drugs for the market and allows pharmaceutical companies to carry patents for them.
The Drug Quality and Security Act requires manufacturers to provide transaction information about drug sales. This allows the FDA to trace prescription drugs throughout the United States and prevent misuse. You can read more details about it by visiting https://www.medproid.com/public/whymedpro/dscsa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs a few different drug safety programs. The National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention tracks adverse drug events like overdoses. The plan allows the CDC to send funding to local governments to prevent misuse.
The CDC leads the PROTECT Initiative. PROTECT creates safer packaging for prescriptions and dosing devices like syringes. State health boards and doctors’ associations work with the initiative.
Private organizations have their own programs to deal with drug problems. Drug addiction centers are located throughout the United States, treating people who struggle with a dependency on prescription drugs. Anyone can receive information about safe drug use from these organizations.
Doctors’ offices also take steps to prevent drug abuse. They provide fliers to patients about the drugs they are taking. They also test patients to see that they are not abusing drugs.
The Essentials of Drug Safety
Drug safety requires many different steps. The FDA tests most prescriptions before doctors can prescribe them, reducing the chance of complications. It can trace where drugs go to prevent the spread of addiction.
The CDC educates the public about drug abuse and organizes private organizations to stop abuse. Organizations also provide educational materials and services to people struggling with addiction. Doctors make prescriptions for patients, yet they only do so when drugs are absolutely necessary.
Members of the public can also get involved, once they get educated. Read more drug safety guides by following our coverage.