As a dangerous drugs lawyer Memphis TN comes to with their questions about dangerous drugs, I often hear people ask, “How?” How did a drug make it to the market when it’s so incredibly dangerous? Some of these medications can be lethal: they cause stroke, cancer, or kidney failure. And tragically many people have no idea until it’s too late. They trust their doctors and assume the best.
Here are some of the most common reasons I’ve seen for how dangerous drugs make it on the market:
1) The pharmaceutical companies mislead the FDA and the public.
Unfortunately, this happens a lot more often than people realize. Some pharmaceutical companies know the risks before they ever market the drug. We see this time and again when we pursue cases against them. It comes out through the discovery process that executives and researchers knew the dangers and purposefully chose not to tell anyone. The company might have internal memos that show they decided their insurance would just cover the many deaths that might come at the expense of the drug. They include the deaths in their budget like a piece of equipment. Or sometimes they have a paper trail revealing how they fudged the numbers in their own research.
2) The FDA and drug companies are in too big a rush.
Every new drug has the opportunity to make a lot of money, and the drug companies want to get a return on their investment as quickly as possible. It’s extremely expensive to develop new drugs. So they lobby the FDA to push through approvals as quickly as possible. The FDA is often underfunded, understaffed, and thus unable to check the drug company’s work and investigate fully. They allow drugs through that should never be deemed safe, because they know people want the option of the exciting new drug for their ailment. That’s why this rush job happens more often with drugs that treat really popular, marketable problems like weight loss and birth control.
3) Doctors fall for bad industry practices.
Your doctor might recommend a new drug because it’s a great option for you – but they also might recommend it because the drug companies promised them a cruise or because a beautiful sales rep offered to take them out for a steak dinner. Drug companies reward doctors for meeting sales quotas, so before you ever take a new drug, it’s worth asking what the doctor might be getting paid to sell it to you.
Some medical professionals know better. They say to wait a few years before trying a new drug, because the approval process can be so messed up. But they’re often the exception more than the rule. Sadly, that means consumers have to be on guard and educate themselves about the potential for dangerous drugs.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into dangerous drugs.