The pharmaceutical industry is among the largest sectors in corporate America. We are bombarded by advertising for prescription drugs and over-the-counter-drugs on TV, radio, magazines, and online. That money comes from pharmaceutical drug sales in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
This race by drug companies to develop the next wonder-drug with mass appeal means they have to generate billions of dollars in sales every year of their existing medicines to spend millions to find that next big thing. The competition among drug companies is intense, with many who know the industry describing it as cut-throat, kill-or-be-killed mentality. That industry-wide pressure often leads to bad decisions. These bad decisions often lead to lies told to each other, the FDA, doctors, patients, and yes, lawyers.
Drug Safety Is Often a Roll of the Dice
Whether a drug is safe for consumption often depends on what is behind the drug. Testing, clinical trials, evidence, proof, disclosure, knowledge, truth.
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are not safe in general. Most consumers do not understand this simple truth. All drugs have side effects. Some side effects cause great injury or death, and other side effects are less harmful causing only discomfort.
When a doctor prescribes a drug he or she must decide if the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks of side effects. The doctor, however, is only as good as the clear and accurate information provided by the drug company with the medication and drug company sales representatives who personally market the medicine. If the drug company does not provide accurate warnings, study results, and disclosures about the medication — which is common — then neither the doctor nor consumer can make an informed choice about whether or not to use the drug.
Prescribing doctors may also prescribe drugs for purposes which are not on the drug label or approved by the FDA. This is called “off-label” use, because the FDA approved one label but the medicine being used for a reason not on that label. The drug industry has been very aggressive with doctors in encouraging and financially rewarding physicians to prescribe drugs for off-label uses. Drug sales are drug sales, regardless of the drug’s intended purpose. The more medication that is pushed means higher profits for drug companies.
Pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, and doctors may be held liable for damages caused to patients when a doctor has been sold by the drug company on off-label uses.
Drug Manufacturers and Pharmaceutical Companies Have a Track Record of Dishonesty, Non-Disclosure, and Hiding Unfavorable Results
Although we have been led to believe that drug companies only sell drugs which have been tested, studied, and gone through rigorous analysis by the Food and Drug Administration, nothing could be farther from the truth. The FDA does not test drugs. Instead, it merely reviews the tests and studies conducted by drug manufacturers of their own products. Additionally, the FDA is staffed with pharmaceutical company insiders, which is the fox guarding the hen house. The FDA is visible to the public — and then starts to take regulatory action — after a dangerous drug starts harming lots of consumers.
In reality, every drug company faces pressure to race a new drug of mass appeal to market and generate billions in profits. Drug manufacturers are known to do the following:
- put drugs on the market before tests are completed
- use selective clinical trials which don’t show effects on large segments of intended users
- hide negative test results
- shut down clinical trials before adverse drug data is available
- assign testing to large universities and medical centers with connections to the drug company
- provide money incentives analysts for positive results
- fail to provide clear, accurate, comprehensive warnings
The fact is that dangerous drugs are available to doctors and patients based on incomplete data, biased studies, and gamesmanship by drug companies. Most consumers and doctors have no idea what real dangers or deadly side effects exist with many medications.
Obtain Experienced Legal Representation for Your Serious Dangerous Drug Injury
If you or a loved one have suffered catastrophic injury or a family member died as the result of taking a dangerous drug or medication, then contact Fort Myers personal injury David Harris for a free evaluation of your circumstances. You should not be a victim of a drug company’s deliberate or negligent failure to disclose all the facts about its prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and financial relationships with prescribing physicians. Call for a free consultation today 888-294-8090.