Deadly Medicine: Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

by ShelbyW on September 24, 2012

There is no question that medical advances over the past century have saved millions of lives. New drugs used to be released on a far less common basis than they are today and usually only after stringent approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It now seems, however, that a new drug is hitting the market on a nearly daily basis. Unfortunately these drugs are often advertised on television a few months before commercials advertising legal services for victims of the drug start showing. It leaves people wondering how so many dangerous drugs are actually making it to market.

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Push so Hard

Pharmaceutical companies seem to do everything that they can to get new drugs approved by the FDA. There is one simple reason for this push: money. The makers of the anti-stroke drug Pradaxa, for instance, cleared over one billion dollars in profit during 2011. Only after the drug was approved did the real costs of taking it become evident. According to information from, over five hundred deaths were attributed to the use of Pradaxa in 2011; which is more deaths than have been caused by any other drug being monitored by the FDA. This has led to lawsuits being filed against the company.

How Dangerous Drugs make it to Market

A person may be inclined to believe that there must be no oversight in prescription drug approval processes after hearing of the dangerous side effects of drugs like Pradaxa, but this is inaccurate. All drugs used in the United States must undergo testing and an approval process. This leaves many people wondering how such dangerous drugs get into the hands of patients. The simple answer is that the quest to make a profit often leads pharmaceutical companies to use lax standards in their testing of the drug.

Chris Hansen of NBC recently did a report on drug trial sites overseas. Prescription drug manufacturers have discovered that they can save millions of dollars and avoid certain regulations by having their trials outsourced to countries like India. The savings is so substantial that eighty percent of the drugs that the FDA reviews have been tested in foreign countries. This statistic only becomes more frightening when a person learns that the FDA inspects less than one percent of these foreign testing sites.

Get it Done Quickly

Chris Hansen found that two major clinical trial facilities in India were more than willing to start the approval process of a drug with the exact same makeup as Vioxx, a medicine that has been pulled from the market due to its deadly effects. One of these facilities even recommended paying off a doctor to say that the drug was safe for use. These companies were obviously familiar with getting clinical trials done quickly in an effort to expedite approval.

Getting the drug approved quickly doesn’t seem to be enough for some companies. The drug manufacturers also seem to want to quickly get their drugs into the hands of as many people as possible. Drug manufacturer Glaxo Smith Kline actually had to pay over three billion dollars in fines when it was discovered that they were influencing doctors to give the drug Paxil to patients it wasn’t approved for. This was done through placing misleading journal articles in medical publications and providing illegal rewards to doctors.

Pharmaceutical drugs make up a multibillion dollar industry. It is often in the best interest of big drug companies to have the trials related to these drugs done quickly and with little regulation. This unfortunately ends detrimentally for thousands of patients across the United States. The FDA unfortunately doesn’t have the manpower to thoroughly test all new drugs that are presented to them, and this inability often allows dangerous drugs to do years of damage before the real dangers are noticed. Until the FDA can more effectively handle their approval process, mass litigation is the only thing that may deter drug companies from putting deadly medicine out to the masses.

Shelby Warden is a researcher that contributes articles for and Doyle Raizner, a trial litigation firm that helps persons injured by pharmaceutical companies.  Since its release in 2010, Pradaxa has been linked to more deaths and adverse effects than any other anticoagulant. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a Pradaxa, the attorneys at Doyle Raizner will help you get the settlement to which you are entitled.

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