Before any drug can be sold in the United States, it must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is true whether it's a prescription or an over-the-counter drug. The FDA evaluates both the effectiveness and safety of a drug by looking at:
- How animal testing and human clinical trials affect the condition the drug is treating
- If any side effects occur
- How it's manufactured
- What the labeling says
The FDA also monitors a drug's safety after approval. Health care providers and patients can report drug side effects through the FDA's MedWatch website.
For you, drug safety means buying online only from licensed pharmacies located in the United States. It also means knowing how to take your medicines correctly.
- Drug Development Process (Food and Drug Administration)
- Is It Really FDA Approved? (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
- MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program (Food and Drug Administration)
- Postmarket Drug Safety Information for Patients and Providers (Food and Drug Administration)
- Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts (Food and Drug Administration)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Willingness to Pay for Implementation of an Environmentally Friendly Pharmaceutical Policy...
- Article: I (Don't) want to consume counterfeit medicines: exploratory study on the...
- Article: Classification of Pharmaceutical Policy Measures During the Portuguese Financial Crisis.
- Drug Safety -- see more articles