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The FDA has the responsibility of protecting citizens of the United States from potentially harmful and dangerous drugs. Late last week the agency released a list of drugs that are currently on the FDA’s watch list of potentially harmful medications. The list names 20 different medications, citing particular issues associated with each of them. There is no indication of how many reports the FDA has received concerning the injuries associated with each medication nor is there any indication for patients to stop taking medications included in the list.

Food and Drug Administration officials said they are trying to walk a fine line in being more open to the public while avoiding needless scares. Congress, in a drug safety bill passed last year, ordered the agency to post quarterly listings of medications under investigation.

The list includes drugs several drugs that have already had highly publicized problems, like Heparin; as well as several other medications that have not been in the public eye. A number of drugs on the list were cited as having confusing instructions or similar names that has lead to overdoses or improper use.

This list is the first of its kind, but in coming months and years the FDA will continue to post a list of drugs under investigation each quarter.

Consumer advocates are pleased with the recent actions and are calling it “a step in the right direction;” however, many industry groups are concerned that the list will created unwarranted panic among patients taking these medications.

The full list of can be viewed here.

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