Recently, Pfizer paid a $2 billion fine and GlaxoSmithKline coughed up $3 billion in fines for failing to report safety data about the diabetes drug, Avandia. Yet the costly Avandia settlement doesn’t seem to have changed the way pharmaceuticals are marketed.
The only way to stop pharmaceutical companies from continuing to market and sell drugs they know are problematic is to change the culture in Washington, D. C. First and foremost, the practice of these companies getting off by merely paying fines has to stop.
That’s why, in addition to exacting these colossal penalties, the Justice Department must start criminal prosecution against the people who conspire and facilitate this practice of blatant lying and withholding of critical research data.
I promise you, when CEOs of the pharmaceutical giants have to wear orange jumpsuits and all of their freedoms are taken away, these executives will finally realize their despicable, greedy conduct has severe and personal consequences.
However, it’s not enough for the Justice Department to prosecute pharmaceutical company CEOs for their morally reprehensible behavior that results in unnecessary harm and danger to the consumer. Washington must come to the realization that the FDA must have more resources in order to properly approve and regulate the conduct of
Very recently the FDA proved to be wholly ineffective in regulating the New England Compounding Center, a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company. This company produced an epidural steroid that resulted in a national meningitis outbreak, resulting in 34 deaths and over 500 patients becoming seriously ill. Specifically in Ohio, there have been 19 cases of fungal meningitis linked back to these steroids.
According to the New York Times, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg testified before Congress that the agency’s failure to properly regulate the company was due to their “limited, unclear, and contested authority in the area.” The agency asked Congress to clear up the confusion between state and federal coverage, but Republican congressmen pushed back against providing the FDA with any additional power to regulate.
Too often, elected representatives are bought by powerful pharmaceutical lobbyists, and they clearly do not have the consumer’s best interests at heart.
Washington must give the FDA the proverbial “big bat” and the authority to swing it.
At the end of the day, all I am asking for is that the pharmaceutical companies include on the label any and all known risks associated with taking the drug. Typically, they have no problem mentioning everything from diarrhea to dry mouth, but they refuse to mention the more serious, life-threatening side effects such as heart attacks and strokes.
As long as they keep this nefarious practice up, I’ll Make Them Pay!®
If you or a loved one took a bad drug and would like to discuss it with me, feel free to call me at 1-800-55-MISNY or visit my website at www.misnylaw.com and tell me your story.