Do Drug Companies Put Profits Over People?
Big Pharma in America is raking in money hand over fist. The BBC has reported that in one recent year Pfizer posted a 49% profit margin. The profit blew away the highest profit margins in other industries, such as banks, auto manufacturers, and the oil and gas industry. The profits are troubling, though, not promising. As one doctor put it, a company making $3 billion per year on a cancer drug should be able to get by on $2 billion and lower the price of that drug for disease victims.
Drug companies often use the excuse that all those profits go back into research and development for new life-saving drugs. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that claim is largely false. The study found that the median cost of developing a single cancer drug was $648 million, but the median revenue was $1,658 million. This suggests that companies are making money well beyond the costs of developing a drug. The study even accounted for all the research money spent on drugs that did not work out.
Even with the enormous profits, drug companies still get caught selling defective drugs trying to make even more money. Opioid dangers are in the news now more so than ever. They can be prescribed legally to treat pain, in the form of drugs like oxycodone, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine. The same drug is also in heroin, so the legal use of painkillers has been linked to many incidents of people switching to street-level narcotics or prescription abuse.
Increase of Defective Drug Lawsuit
Lawsuits related to opioids are sweeping the nation, as the drug companies and even groups like health commissions that recommend the drugs are being attacked for pushing the addictive drugs on the public. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley recently filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers that he says failed to warn of the risks posed by their opioid drugs. Individuals that have been harmed by the drugs may have recourse in the courts as well.
Three particularly infamous dangerous prescription drugs are:
- Zantac: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended a large-scale recall of Zantac due to its connections to the carcinogen N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). More than ever before, consumers who have used Zantac frequently in the past are now being diagnosed with various forms of cancer.
- Vioxx: Most people would say that the worst so far was a drug called Vioxx, which was an anti-inflammatory drug that was once popular for treating arthritis and other chronic conditions. The drug was withdrawn from the market in 2004 after some of the people using the drug suffered strokes or heart attacks. The company that made the drug, Merck, eventually agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle all the lawsuits related to the drug.
- Baycol: Another terrible recall involved a drug called Baycol, which was a statin that was taken by patients to reduce their cholesterol by blocking an enzyme that forms cholesterol. After a time, the drug was found to have caused a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which leads to the buildup of a chemical called myoglobin in the body. This can leave muscles feeling weak and sore, and, in the long run, can cause life-threatening kidney failure. The drug has been withdrawn and has been subject to thousands of lawsuits, some of which are ongoing.
Birth Defects from Defective Drugs
In recent decades, the medical system has become much more aware of “teratogenic drugs,” which are drugs that can disrupt a baby’s development. Each organ of an embryo has a critical period when its development can be disrupted, and the time when the drug is taken can impact what parts of the fetus are impacted.
It can take years to sort out the science related to birth defects from defective drugs. For example, an anti-nausea drug called Zofran has been used in recent years to treat, among other things, extreme morning sickness. Several studies then came out linking the drug to birth defects like cleft palates and heart defects, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists rolled back their support for the drug. Then, new studies came out that suggested the drug actually did not seem to cause birth defects from defective drugs and instead Zofran actually reduced the rate of miscarriage or stillbirth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that birth defects cost the U.S. more than $2.6 billion per year, and children with birth defects can cost as much as 13 times as much to care for as children without defects.
We Can Help
Learn more about these defective drug lawsuits and how we can help.
Drug Defect Claim FAQ
When you start a defective drugs claim in St. Louis, it’s important to find legal counsel with experience, like ours. We like to make sure our clients have the resources they need to win a claim, starting with providing answers to commonly asked questions about such cases.
Some commonly asked questions:
- How much will legal representation cost me? This depends on the defective drug case and other factors. Dixon utilizes a contingency system, meaning our services are free.
- How much would I win? Again, this also depends on the claim. Our St. Louis defective drug lawyers fight to win clients’ medical expenses, personal hardship, and other damages.
- What do I do now? The first step is to contact Dixon for more info and consultation from our defective drug lawyers.
Call a Defective Drug Lawyer in St. Louis Today
If your child has suffered from a birth defect, you probably have little idea of what caused it and who, if anyone, is responsible. Our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are willing to review your case at no charge to see if you have been a victim of provable birth defects from defective drugs.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132