Seniors’ group raises alarm on unapproved drugs

By Julian Pecquet
The Hill blog
07/27/10 11:06 AM ET

The 60 Plus Association — known as “the conservative alternative to the AARP” — is launching an awareness campaign regarding unapproved drugs in the marketplace.

The group announced Tuesday its “Keep Seniors Safe” initiative to educate consumers on the risks associated with drugs that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The group is also sending mailers to 50,000 seniors urging them to tell the FDA to enforce the agency’s unapproved drug initiative, which calls for the removal of unapproved drugs from the marketplace.

“Though most Americans, including many prescribing doctors, are unaware, unapproved drugs have been estimated to make up over 2% of the American drug marketplace,” the group said in a statement. “Millions of prescriptions are written for these products every year, despite the fact that unapproved drugs have not been tested by the FDA for either safety or efficacy and have already been associated with hundreds of deaths.”

The 18-year-old free-market organization has largely focused this past year on opposing the healthcare reform bill because of its cuts to Medicare Advantage and other provisions. But the latest effort is a sign that the group aims to do more than political advocacy.