Allen Frances, a retired professor from Duke University, recently made his case on the Huffington Post against Big Pharma and its ability to market addictive prescription drugs ("Does Pharma Have a Constitutional Right to Push Dangerous Drugs?"). Frances doesn't really answer his own question, other than to say that Big Pharma should not have such a constitutional right; specifically, the free speech protections of the First Amendment to market and sell prescription drugs.
As Scott Glover and Lisa Girion report for the Los Angeles Times ("Counties sue narcotics makers, 'alleging campaign of deception'"), two counties in California (Orange and Santa Clara) have filed a 100-page lawsuit against five major drug manufacturers. The lawsuit alleges a "campaign of deception," as Glover and Girion report, waged by the drug manufacturers in an effort to broaden the market for their strong opiate-based painkillers.
Forbes recently published an interesting article titled "Is Big Pharma Addicted To Fraud?" Author Erika Kelton discussed the fraudulent ways pharmaceutical companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline, sell their products, including using bribery, falsified research and illegal marketing tactics.
Last year, GlaxoSmithKline settled an Avandia lawsuit brought by the majority of U.S. states. The states alleged that Glaxo was guilty of healthcare fraud because it marketed products for uses unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and failed to provide adequate safety data to the FDA regarding Avandia. Glaxo accepted criminal responsibility and settled for $3 billion.
Last month, India made a safety move that has many people applauding and others asking "why?": It banned Takeda Pharmaceuticals' popular diabetes drug Actos as well as two other drugs, Analgin and Deanixt. Actos will be banned until "clinical data proves it has no risks," according to India Today.
At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion on an important case regarding whether injured patients can bring defective drug lawsuits against generic drug makers. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of the generic drug makers, holding that they are not liable for defective designs since they are not in control of those designs.
Since the fungal meningitis outbreak last year, a main concern on many California resident's minds is whether compounding facilities are really as safe as they claim to be. Everyone across the United States expects that pharmaceutical companies are providing them with tested products that are safe for human use; the more we learn this isn't always the case, the less faith we put into these companies in the end.
Nearly everyone in California remembers the meningitis outbreak that occurred a few months ago. A result of contamination at a Massachusetts compounding facility, the outbreak caused 720 people to fall ill across 20 states and resulted in 48 deaths, says the most recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Let's say you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of a defective drug. Let's now say that this defective drug was a name brand. In a situation such as this, litigation should be fairly simple because a person can prove that the drug manufacturer did not adequately warn people about the dangers of the FDA approved drug.
Much like the readers of our blog, we've been trying to follow as many stories as we can regarding dangerous drugs that find their way onto the market as a result of pharmaceutical companies simply looking to make a profit.