Let us take a look at the case of a girl named Kira, or “Nikki” as her friends and family called her. Nikki was a 22-year-old, All-American girl that had just graduated from college. Nikki started working at a local orphanage and had big plans, as all young people do, to attend nursing school. Nikki was suffering from a torn ACL, this was not a life-threatening condition, but it was deemed bad enough that her doctor scheduled her for surgery to repair her bad knee. In anticipation of the surgery to come, Nikki’s doctor prescribed her propoxyphene, a generic form of the drug Darvon to help alleviate the pain she was experiencing while she awaited surgery. Nikki died just a few days after she started taking the drug.
Her parents, obviously grief struck and broken-hearted were confused and bewildered as to how their perfectly healthy daughter, with exception to the torn ACL, could die so suddenly. After doing some research, her parents found that thousands of other people had died after taking propoxyphene in the years prior to their daughter’s death. Inadequate safety labels on the generic drug resulted in doctors continuing to prescribe the drug to unsuspecting patients.
After discovering this news, Nikki’s parents tried to hold the drug manufacturer accountable in a court of law by way of a civil lawsuit but were stopped before hey ever got started. Why? Due to a Supreme Court ruling made in 2011 that created a loophole for generic drug manufacturers. The ruling basically found that generic drug manufacturers could not be taken to court for failing to warn consumers of the risks involved with the drugs they were manufacturing.
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a bill that would close the loophole created by the Supreme Court by allowing the generic drugmakers to promptly update their safety warnings in response to new evidence and research that may result in new dangers associated with the drugs being manufactured. And if the manufactures did not follow through and make the changes to the safety warning labels, the individuals and families harmed by the generic drug could hold the generic manufacturers accountable in court. The FDA proposed bill was shot down in the court system and smothered by big pharma, thus the original ruling made by the Supreme Court stands.
Big Pharma – $1.05 trillion. Nikki and her devastated parents – $0.00
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Defective Drugs and Devices
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