martes, 14 de enero de 2014

Emerger después de "morir" o..."After Big Pharma Made Its Money".

Have you ever noticed how warnings about dangerous prescription drugs always seem to surface after the drug is no longer marketed and its patent has run out? Whether it's an FDA advisory or a trial lawyer solicitation about harm that may have been done to you, the warnings are always belated and useless. If a drug you took four years ago may have given you liver damage, why didn't the FDA tell you then? Why didn't the FDA recall the drug or better yet, not approve it in the first place? 

The official answer from the FDA and Big Pharma is that problems with a drug are only seen after millions begin using it, which is why post-marketing surveillance is conducted. In other words—who knew? But in a startling number of cases revealed in court documents Pharma did"know" and clearly misled medical journals, the FDA, doctors and patients, hoping to get its patent's worth before the true risks of a drug surfaced. In other cases, Pharma and the FDA should have known before rushing a dangerous drug to market and making money at the expense of patients. (Más)

1. Vioxx
Remember the "super aspirin" Vioxx, that was heavily marketed by Merck and athletes Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner 15 years ago? Vioxx was a wonder drug that treated everything from arthritis pain to menstrual cramps, its ads claimed, sparing users the gastrointestinal problems caused by older drugs like aspirin. It turned out that Vioxx was super at something else, too: it doubled the riskof cardiac events,causing 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths according to news sources. (...)

2. Fosamax 
Vioxx was not the only Merck drug demonstrating that forgiveness is easier and cheaper when it comes to marketing new drugs. Merck's Fosamax, the first of an anti-osteoporosis drug class called biphosphonates that included Boniva and Actonel, was linked to heart problems, intractable pain, jawbone death, bone fractures and esophageal cancer—only after its patent ran out in 2008. Court-released documents reveal that Merck scientists knew about Fosamax' link to jawbone death as early as the 1970s in animal studies.(...)  


3. Lipitor 
What is the best-selling drug in the history of pharmaceuticals? What made $125 billion in 14 and a half years and as much as $11 billion in a single year? Lipitor, Pfizer's blockbuster statin drug, owed its success to two factors. It was launched in 1997 when direct-to-consumer drug advertising was just beginning and it harnessed the growing national fear of cholesterol-linked heart attacks. Thanks to Lipitor's "Know Your Numbers" TV ads and Pfizer reps who saturated medical offices with free samples of the white pills and sometimes lunch, more than 29 million people were prescribed Lipitor. (...)

4. Nexium 
What is the second bestselling drug, after Lipitor? The Purple Pill. Like statins, Nexium and the other Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPI) to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), became household medications thanks to direct-to-consumer advertising. Before Proton-Pump Inhibitors, people took over-the-counter treatments like Tums or Tagamet when they had heartburn or indigestion. As the afflictions were upgraded into the "disease" of GERD, Nexium made almost $5 billion in the US in one year and the class of PPIs made $13.6 billion in one year, translating into 119 million prescriptions. (...)

5. Adderall 
It is no secret that doctors, parents and teachers are calling millions of children ADHD. Thanks to Pharma marketing, ADHD is now the second most common long-term diagnosis in children after asthma, says the New York Times, often conferred for "childhood forgetfulness and poor grades." While some critics of the massive dosing say kids are being penalized for being kids and that "treatment" used to be recess, Big Pharma's spin campaigns maintain that daily stimulants do not hurt children. (...)


6. Paxil 
Few SSRI antidepressants have the checkered safety profile of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Paxil. In 2007 the BBC revealed that Paxil's Study 329 showed adolescents six times more likely to become suicidal on the drug but the results were buried. (GSK settled related charges in 2012 for $3 billion.) Rumors had circulated for years about suicide and toxic withdrawal symptoms with Paxil and they were evidently true in some cases. (...)

7. Ambien 
One of Big Pharma's cash cows has been insomnia pills, because everyone watches TV when they can't sleep—and they see sleeping pill ads. Leading the sleeping pill category was Sanofi-Aventis' Ambien, which netted $2 billion a yearbefore it went off patent in 2006. But even as the patent expired, stories began to circulate about deranged behavior committed in an Ambien blackout. People drove and made phone calls on the drug with no memory of it; dieters woke up amid mountains of pizza and Häagen-Dazs cartons, and one woman drank a bottle of black shoe polish in an Ambien blackout. (Sanofi-Aventis was forced to publish ads telling people if they were going to take Ambien, to get in bed and stay there.) (...)
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