Zetia Approved Despite Ineffectiveness, Risks

Defective Drugs

The big story this week has been that Merck (the same drug makers who profited from the deadly Vioxx drug) and its partner firm Schering-Plough have been concealing evidence from studies showing that their popular anti-cholesterol medication Zetia is not only ineffective in reducing fatty plaques that clog arteries as the companies claim, but that the drugs may cause liver damage. One of the studies was completed several years ago, but the data was never published. A troubling component of the study’s results is that the drug is apparently far more dangerous when combined with other anti-cholesterol drugs called statins, while Merck has been extensively marketing a pill that combines both Zetia and the statin Zocor.

What is even more troubling about these studies is what they tell us about the drug approval system in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). How can a drug be approved which has not been proven effective in its advertised claim? Why are drug companies allowed to conceal data that reveals a drug is potentially hazardous in combination with another drug, then put that hazardous combination together as a single product for marketing purposes? This despite the fact that one FDA reviewer said the drug should not be cleared for use in that combination. And why, now that people are suffering severe liver damage from the drug combination, is the drug allowed to remain on the market.

The answer seems to be that the FDA is indeed too close to the drug manufacturers and has ceded too much of its control over the approval process to the industry itself. This means that we are likely to face more and more deadly drugs, and if the Supreme Court sides with drug manufacturers, there may be nothing we can do about it. If the FDA is powerless to stop pharmaceutical manufacturers from putting defective pharmaceuticals on the market, the tort system seems to be the only part of the process that can keep us safe from dangerous drugs. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a serious side effect of Zetia or another dangerous drug, you have a responsibility to use the tort system to punish drug manufacturers making profit on your suffering. Contact PersonalInjury.com today to get in touch with an experienced pharmaceutical injury lawyer who can take press your fight to protect you, your family, and the rest of us from reckless profiteering.