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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is supposed to be the government gatekeeper to the pharmaceuticals market, guarding the public against dangerous drugs. Sometimes, though, the agency is too conservative, acting slowly to pull medicines from shelves even after their dangers have become glaring.

The FDA recommended this month that companies withdraw from the market products containing propoxyphene, a pain killer sold under the names Darvon or Darvocet. A safety review conducted by the agency had found the drug “can cause serious toxicity to the heart, even when used at therapeutic doses.”

The citizens’ advocacy group Public Citizen approved of the recommendation, but lambasted the FDA for waiting so long to make it. The agency, the group argued, should have banned propoxyphene almost six years ago, when the United Kingdom did. In a statement, Public Citizen accused the FDA of a “long-lasting unwillingness to protect people in this country from a deadly but barely effective painkiller,” and claimed that at least 1,000 people had died from taking propoxyphene since the U.K. outlawed it.

Have you been harmed by propoxyphene or another dangerous drug that the FDA was slow in banning? Contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Los Angeles, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the pharmaceutical companies and have achieved million-dollar verdicts for our clients. Call us toll-free at 866-730-1976 or submit the contact form via our website, www.hodesmilman.com.