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Have You Been Affected by the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Unethical Behavior?

Posted on September 10, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring that prescription drugs are safe for ingestion. In recent times, however, many critics of this exceptionally important government agency have emerged from around the country. Over the last few decades, an incalculable number of individuals have been harmed by drugs that were deemed safe by the FDA. Some of these drugs even led patients to develop life-threatening or deadly conditions. If you are concerned about the safety of your prescription drugs, you will find the following information to be extremely relevant.

The Off-Label Promotion of Drugs

The FDA-approval process for drugs is a lengthy one, and it is estimated that only one in 1000 drugs will actually reach the market. Unfortunately, many of the drugs that have reached the market have proven to be unsafe for a multitude of reasons. Issues such as off-label prescribing are also difficult for the FDA to police. Off-label prescribing occurs when a drug company encourages physicians to prescribe drugs for non-approved purposes. In order to prevent this from occurring, the FDA imposes fines on drug companies, but these fines only make a dent in their massive profits.

Notable Numbers and Fines

Numerous drug manufacturers, many of them prominent, have been fined for engaging in unethical activities or promoting the off-label use of their drugs. Some of the most well-known cases are listed below.

  • Eli Lilly, the makers of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, were fined $1.42 billion for promoting the off-label use of the drug.
  • Pfizer was fined $2.3 billion for intentionally misbranding the painkiller Bextra.
  •  After AstraZeneca promoted the antipsychotic drug Seroquel for off-label purposes, the company was fined $520 million.
  • GlaxoSmithKline incurred the largest pharmaceutical fine in American history after it promoted the antidepressants Wellbutrin and Paxil for off-label purposes. A court forced the pharmaceutical giant to pay a record-breaking $3 billion after it was discovered that the company hid relevant data from the public.
  • The off-label use of the painkiller Vioxx is believed to have caused nearly 60,000 heart attacks. Its maker, Merck, was fined $950 million in 2011 for illegal promotion.

We Can Help You Take on the Pharmaceutical Giants

The information above is highly unsettling, and patients around the country continue to be harmed by the drugs they trust to cure them. If you are one of these patients, the pharmaceutical attorneys at Farah & Farah want to hear from you. We have extensive experience taking on pharmaceutical companies, and we are more than confident that we can assist you. Contact us at (800) 533-3555.