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Why Are Drug Side Effects Disclosed Only After The Harm Is Done?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2014 | Dangerous Drugs


Ever wonder how millions of people can be exposed to the deadly side effects of a medication before they receive warning?

This is often the result of a disgusting campaign by the pharmaceutical manufacturer to make as big a profit as possible before the public learns of its side effects. In many instances the drugmaker is aware that its medication comes with harmful side effects, but it downplays the data or hides it altogether so that the drug can first make it millions, or even billions, of dollars.

The Huffington Post recently put together a list of medications that have succeeded in making large profits for its manufacturer before the patent expired, only to have fatal side effects revealed after. The drugs include:

  • Vioxx: A medication advertised to be as revolutionary as aspirin, but way better. Merck profited handsomely from Vioxx until its patent expired and it was revealed that it doubled the patient’s chance of an adverse cardiac event, such as a heart attack.
  • Fosamax: Merck marketed Fosamax as an osteoporosis-fighting drug that was vital to people with thinning bones. The manufacturer failed to tell patients about the high rates of jawbone necrosis, bone fractures and esophageal cancer it exposed them to.
  • Lipitor: This anti-cholesterol drug made $125 billion for Pfizer until its patent expired. Afterward, patients were notified that the drug’s side effects include memory impairment, muscle damage, liver injury and diabetes.

The Huffington Post article also listed Ambien, Nexium, Adderall and Paxil as popular drugs whose side effects were revealed only after the inventor’s patent had expired and the money-grab was over.

If you or someone you care for was harmed after taking one of the aforementioned medications before the side effects were disclosed, an experienced drug side effects attorney can help you explore your legal options.

McKeen & Associates, PC, is a prominent law firm that fights for patients and families who have unfairly suffered. Based in Detroit, Michigan, McKeen & Associates has the skills, resources and reputation to adeptly serve clients anywhere in the country. Visit our Case Results page to see some of our verdicts and settlements.

Source: Huffington Post, “13 Drugs Whose Risks Emerged Only When They Went Off Patent, Part One,” Martha Rosenberg, Feb. 4, 2014


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