Drug makers have a duty to ensure that their drugs are not unreasonably dangerous and have adequate warnings about the possible side effects and injuries. You trust that the drugs are safe and effective. No one should ever be injured because the drug makers failed to provide all the facts about their prescription medications.
Active Investigations and Litigation
Benicar has been prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Usage of this drug, however, has led to serious gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and misdiagnosis with Celiac disease. Some patients have been left with permanent gastrointestinal damage, such as villous atrophy. This condition renders a gastrointestinal system less able to digest food, or leads to chronic dehydration and malnourishment.
Today Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories face over a thousand lawsuits for their failure to warn about these risks from taking Benicar.
Fosamax® is an oral bisphosphonate prescribed for women who suffer from osteoporosis. Unfortunately, many individuals who received Fosamax® were not osteoporotic, but osteopenic. Before Fosamax and Merck’s marketing of the drug, osteopenia was recognized as a much less serious thinning of the bones, and often times no treatment was necessary. Long term use of Fosamax® has been demonstrated to cause spontaneous fractures of the femur (the big bone in your thigh).
In 2010, the FDA ordered Merck to warn about the the risk of these fractures. Merck still denies that Fosamax causes these types of rare fractures. Nonetheless, many doctors today stop treatment after three years to reduce the risk.
InvokanaPromoted to aid in weight loss and lower blood sugars for Type 2 diabetics, Invokana and Farxiga (SGLT2 inhibitors) act on the kidneys and prevent the reabsorption of glucose into the body.
By eliminating more glucose, the body’s cells must now break down fat for energy. A by-product of this process are ketones, or blood acids. Too many ketones can lead to a diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life threatening condition. For Type 2 diabetics, this condition is normally rare; however, for those on SGLT2 inhibitors, the risk of this complication is increased. Ketoacidosis, if untreated and unrecognized, may lead to kidney damage, heart attack, or death.
In May 2015, the FDA issued a warning that SGLT2 inhibitors may lead to diabetic keatoacidosis which may require hospitalization.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
We have all seen the commercials. Use Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder for that fresh clean feeling. What the ads did not reveal is that Johnson and Johnson have known of the association of their product and ovarian cancer. Two juries have agreed and awarded compensatory and punitive damages for Johnson and Johnson failure to warn.
Today Johnson and Johnson face over a thousand lawsuits for their failure to warn about these risks from using their baby powder.
Since at least 2005, Sanofi-Aventis has known that its Taxotere, or its generic brand docitaxel, manufactured by a Sanofi subsidiary, Winthrop, causes permanent hair loss in women with node-negative, or non-metastasized, cancer. Their failure to warn has left thousands of women, who have survived their breast cancer, without hair, many years after their treatments have stopped. Because the drug company fail to disclose this information, this drug company deprived many women of the choice to take Taxol, a more effective drug than Taxotere, and does not cause permanent hair loss.
The FDA approved Xarelto (rivaroxaban), an oral anti-coagulant or blood thinner, in mid-2011 to treat pulmonary embolisms (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement procedures. Later that year, Bayer Healthcare received additional FDA approval for Xarelto to reduce the risk of stroke and embolisms in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Then in 2012, manufacturers of Xeralto received permission to sell it as a treatment for PE and DVT. All three clinical trials revealed that patients receiving this drug suffered from a greater rate of internal bleeding, reduced hemoglobin levels, transfusions of blood, and hospitalization.
Bayer Healthcare and Janssen Pharmaceutical advertised and promoted Xarelto as a more convenient alternative to Coumadin (warfarin) by emphasizing that it does not require periodic monitoring with blood tests or limit a person’s diet. As a result, both the physician and patient did not know whether the drug had reached or exceeded the therapeutic level necessary to treat those conditions.
As importantly, Bayer knowingly failed to warn doctors and patients that should a patient take Xarelto, and began to experience any bleeding, no antidote existed to reverse or control the side effects of the bleeding. In comparison, for a patient on warfarin, internal bleeding could be treated with high dosages of Vitamin K. So, once a person began to bleed, doctors were helpless to reverse these severe and sometimes fatal consequences. Xarelto has also been demonstrated to cause thrombosis (blood clots), decreased hemoglobin, cerebrovascular events, peripheral edema, and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).
To date, Xarelto has not been recalled and Bayer and Janssen.