Does the FDA serve us or the drug companies?

Defective Drugs

According to many industry critics, the FDA has conceded too much power to drug companies in the battle between safety and profits in the pharmaceuticals market. Essentially, critics say, the FDA “has allowed companies to set the standards and handle the reviews.” Drug companies conduct their own trials of drugs, at their own expense, and usually report the results they want.

Most revelations about defective drugs show not only that the drug is unsafe, but that its manufacturer knew it was unsafe. Most recently, documents have revealed that Johnson & Johnson altered or withheld numerous reports that would reveal the serious health risks that went along with its Ortho Evra birth control patches. In addition, it has been shown that the makers of Premarin and Prempro (Wyeth), Vioxx (Merck), Baycol (Bayer AG), and Avandia (GlaxoSmithKline), all had reason to believe their drugs were more dangerous than their marketing implied, and many of them asked employees to play down risks to the point of being deceptive. Essentially, all drug manufacturers seem to put profits before patient safety. By allowing drug companies to do their own studies, critics charge, the FDA essentially lets the companies write checks to themselves, leaving patients to pay the bill.

In addition, many critics charge that the FDA itself tries to squelch critics within its organization that attempt to raise alarms about unsafe drugs. And the recent drug-safety bill passed by congress is seen by some as a public-relations move posing as real reform. Although the bill allows for tracking of adverse reactions after a drug is approved, a measure long-fought by the pharmaceuticals industry lobbyists, it does not reform the drug approval process. Nor does it alter the membership of drug-review panels, which often have significant ties to the industry. For example, a panel re-approved Trasylol on September 13, despite studies that linked the drug to kidney failure and death, asking only that additional studies be done. Then, only a month and a half later, Bayer decided to pull the drug voluntarily, rather than reveal what it must already have known about the drug.

With the FDA too close to the pharmaceutical companies, personal injury lawyers may be the last line of defense against dangerous drugs. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of taking one of these drugs, you have a responsibility to pursue your suit to protect others who may be affected. Contact today to get in touch with an experienced defective drug lawyer in your area.