The Deadly Side of Prescription Drugs
February 2, 2016 | Pharmaceutical Litigation
Many people are not aware that medical malpractice, the mistakes made by healthcare professionals in hospitals around the country, is responsible for the premature deaths of between 210,000 to 440,000 Americans every year, according to the Journal of Patient Safety. When contemplating this immense number, which is at least three times larger than all gun deaths and traffic fatalities combined, it becomes apparent that this tragic loss of life is a serious issue. So too is the pharmaceutical industry as a whole when it comes to releasing dangerous, unproven drugs on the American people. Even when drugs are properly prescribed and taken in the proper dose, 2.74 million have adverse reactions resulting in 1.9 million hospitalizations. In fact, 128,000 people die from the adverse health effects of prescription drugs every year (not including overdoses and prescription errors) and there is a one if five chance of a prescription drug having a serious negative effect.
The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Rise to Power
In 1990, the U.S. spent $40 billion on prescription drugs. In 2008 the U.S. spent $234 billion, according to Drug Watch. Now, just under one half of Americans take one or more prescription drugs. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there were 2.8 billion prescriptions filled in the year 2000, which equates to 10 prescriptions per American. With thousands of new prescription drugs being released every year, the FDA has neither the time nor resources to ensure that every one of those drugs is safe. The pharmaceutical companies’ testing is often flawed due to being rushed or biased. Because of this, some physicians recommend refraining from taking a prescription drug for at least five years after it has been on the market so any negative effects, hopefully, have a chance to surface.
Listed below are prescriptions drugs known to be dangerous:
- Abilify is an antidepressant with side effects consisting of suicidal thoughts, sexual dysfunction, and compulsive gambling
- Benicar is a blood pressure medicine that also causes chronic diarrhea, which can lead to malnourishment and even death
- Cymbalta is used to treat bone and muscle pain, anxiety, and depression. It can induce discontinuation and brain zaps
- Invokana is used to treat Type 2 diabetes but can lead to brain swelling, coma, and death
- Lexapro is an anti-depression medication that causes birth defects when used by pregnant
- Lipitor is used to treat high cholesterol, but has caused some patients to develop Type 2 diabetes
- Paxil is an anti-depression medication that can cause serious birth defects when taken by pregnant women
- Risperdal is an antipsychotic but it has been linked to breast development in males as well as movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia causes the involuntary movements of the lips, face, and even trunk.
If you or a loved one has suffered consequences from a prescription drug, contact the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today at 212-397-1000 to discuss your legal options with one of our experienced pharmaceutical attorneys. You may be owed compensation for your suffering.