Blogs

Drug therapy risks affect millions, but no one seems to care, group says

Posted by Sarah Showard | Jul 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Last year, the FDA received nearly 180,000 reports of serious, disabling, and fatal adverse drug events in the United States – most of them through drug makers – that affected up to 4 million Americans, which makes an industry watchdog group wonder if anybody out there cares. “In fact, the 2011 data illustrate that many of the reports of patient deaths from drug manufacturers are of such low quality as to be nearly useless,” according to a shocking analysis from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices' QuarterWatch.

“(Drug) therapy stands as one of the most significant perils to health resulting from human activity. Major health benefits can be achieved through safer medication use, which should be a much higher priority for medicine, government, and the public,” according to the group.

The two most complained-about drugs were the anticoagulants dabigatran (brand: Pradaxa) and warfarin (Coumadin), which shows “that the combination of a vulnerable patient population and a powerful pharmacological action rank among the highest risks in prescription drug therapy,” the group says. “While a therapeutic goal of preventing strokes, pulmonary embolism, and other harm through unwanted blood clots is a worthy objective, these results demonstrate that treatment is accompanied by substantial risks. We identified both similarities and differences between the two widely used anticoagulant drugs.”

Last year, there were twice as many adverse drug event reports connected to lawsuits against drug manufacturers for alleged patient injuries – 43,819 – as it had direct reports made through health professionals and patients, QuarterWatch said. “On one hand, if tens of millions of dollars are being spent in litigation on behalf of thousands of patients, it is often a signal of a major drug safety issue,” the report said. “On the other hand, the filing of a lawsuit claiming that a drug caused harm is not proof that a drug-induced injury occurred.”

Further reading:

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Showard Law Firm-Tucson's Local Law Firm for defective drug & medical device claims.

Showard-law-firm-group-photo

Showard Law Firm is dedicated to compassionate representation for our clients who have been injured by defective products, dangerous drugs or the negligence of any individual or company. We are experienced in litigation and ready to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement for your injuries, medical bills, mental anguish and other losses.

Showard Law Firm celebrates 10 years

10th-anniversary-showard

2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Showard Law Firm. After 18 years of practice, and a prior ten-year partnership, Sarah Showard and her longtime assistant, Maria De La Rosa, opened the doors of Showard Law Firm in October 2006. Sarah and everyone at Showard Law Firm is proud to serve Southern Arizona as the local law firm for defective drug and medical device claims and personal injury.