An FDA Advisory Committee meeting on the bisphosphonate drugs was held in Adelphi, Maryland on September 9, 2011. The following is from a report by Cindy Pearson Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN), Washington DC:
“NWHN warned back in the 1990s when these drugs were brand new that they might cause more problems than they would prevent, but the FDA ignored our cautions and approved the drugs for ‘prevention’.
Now evidence is emerging to show that the problems we warned about are real. Women who use these drugs for many years have unusually high rates of thigh fractures and death of the jaw bone. Women who were perfectly healthy before they started taking drugs to prevent osteoporosis are now suffering from pain and disabilities that appear to be caused by these drugs. Last week, several brave women testified at an FDA meeting about their experience with these drugs. They joined with NWHN to ask the FDA to take these risks seriously and restrict the use of bisphosphonates to patients with full-blown osteoporosis.
Officials at the meeting said the FDA would “re-visit” the use of bisphosphonates for prevention. That’s good news! But it’s only a first step. We need to make sure the FDA takes steps to restrict the use of these drugs as quickly as possible so more women won’t be exposed to unnecessary risks and harm. The FDA listened to the women who were able to speak up at the meeting – now they need to hear your voice, too.”
Please write to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg at firstname.lastname@example.org and urge her to protect healthy women by not approving bisphosphonate use to prevent osteoporosis.