Drug safety may be underestimated for chronic-use drugs.  The FDA has placed more resources and requirements in evaluating drugs premarket than it does in monitoring what happens to patients after years of taking a medication.  Drugs that have recently underscored the potential dangers of chronic use are Avandia (diabetes; enhanced cardiovascular risk) and bisphosphonates (e.g., Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva;  enhanced bone fracture/degeneration risks).  Although one proposed solution is the development of a national database that would track drug use and complications, this does not necessarily address duration of use, presence/duration of concomitant medications/supplements, patient age and medical history, genetic predisposition, etc.   Predominant trends will likely be noted using the proposed methodology, but a more multifaceted analysis will still be necessary to optimize the risk/benefit for individual patients.

Source: FairWarning