Actemra: dangerous drug still being prescribed
If the FDA knows that a medication has deadly side effects, why doesn’t the federal agency order it off the market? It can “mandate” a recall if a drug company won’t recall a questionable drug after an FDA request, but “only in rare cases” does it do so.
Drug companies are expected to recall drugs themselves. They also decide what information to present to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when they ask it to approve a new medication. As The Washington Post reported in 2012, that system lets companies “design research that makes their products look better,” while potentially hiding “dangerous side effects.
If a company receives reports that a new drug has previously unknown, deadly side effects, after it has been approved, it has no legal obligation to tell the FDA.
Where does that leave patients?
Many have suffered and died over the years. National Public Radio (NPR) reported in 2007, that Merck’s pain killer Vioxx may have caused 88,000 heart attacks, resulting in the deaths of 38,000 Americans.
In 2010, CBS News reported that GlaxoSmithKline’s extremely popular diabetes drug, Avandia, may have caused 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths and cases of heart failure,” after it was approved by the FDA in 1999.
Actemra has apparently caused “heart attacks, heart failures, and life- threatening lung complications” that killed hundreds of patients, according to a 2017 investigation conducted by STAT, an on-line medical news agency, which is part of Boston Globe Media. The Boston Globe has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its reporting, 26 times.
According to STAT’s investigation, the FDA has been “trying for years” to improve its monitoring of drugs, but “it hasn’t had much success.”
Patients can turn to Wayne Wright for help
Lawsuits charging major drug companies with putting profits before patients are successful. In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion in a fraud settlement for several of its drugs, including Avandia. In 2011, Merck paid $950 million to settle “thousands” of Vioxx lawsuits. Both companies knew the drugs had deadly side effects.
Wayne Wright’s successful record representing clients is reflected in his membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Only lawyers who have won multi-million dollar cases are invited to join the Forum. He was also selected for a 2014 Litigator Award. Only lawyers with the highest dollar winnings for clients are eligible. Calls to the firm and evaluations are free. Clients only pay fees, agreed upon in advance, when Wayne Wright wins their cases.
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