As we get older, we often become more aware of our health needs and therefore often take action to ensure that we get the best treatment available. Seniors especially should be highly conscious of what they require in order to maintain their good health, and therefore need to stay educated about medications and therapies more so than younger generations do. This fact has been underscored by a recent review of how people request ongoing drug assessments from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The review, known as the Harris Poll, which looked at various age brackets, found that seniors (ages 61 and up) are actually less likely to think that drugs require close and constant scrutiny from the FDA, as opposed to those individuals who fall into the baby boomer gap (42 to 60) and the generation X gap (30 to 41). However, seniors are more likely to seek out information about the medications they are taking, especially when it comes to the safety of the drugs.
Looking at the statistics, the Harris Poll surveyed 2,429 American adults online between November 13 to the 20, 2006. What it found was that a whopping 71% of the adults polled felt that even after a drug is approved by the FDA, it should definitely remain under close watch, being reviewed and evaluated on a continual basis in order to ensure its continued safety. Another 20% felt that is was important that drugs remain under constant review, and a scant nine percent felt that it was “somewhat or not very important.” These numbers go across the board for all age groups.
Along with these findings, there were some variations in responses among the different generations. For example, 74% of baby boomers and 71% of seniors felt that it was “highly or very important” that drugs remain under the watchful eye of the FDA, whereas only 64% of echo boomers (ages 18 to 29) felt the same way.
According to the authors of the Harris Poll, “Surprisingly, almost three-quarters (73%) of Generation Xers (those ages 30 to 41) feel it is highly or very important for this close review to remain. One may have thought that their attitudes would fall closer towards that of the younger generation rather than to the Baby Boomers.”
The important thing to note here is that consumers in North America are becoming more aware of the risks and dangers associated with pharmaceutical drugs and do feel that drug safety is of importance. Seniors especially should voice their concerns, as they are in the age group that is the most dependent on these medications. The Harris Poll certainly points out the need for continued awareness from consumers — and the need for both drug manufacturers and the FDA to work together to ensure that the highest level of safety is being met for each drug on the market on an ongoing basis.
With recent issues surfacing on questionable drugs that were approved by the FDA — yet which caused severe and lethal side effects after approval and being on the market — now more than ever before people are requesting additional information and safety guidelines be provided for these medications. They are also questioning safety more, which is always a good thing, as any drug you take should face serious scrutiny.