Will Big Pharma Be Forced To Offer Less Toxic Drugs?
Opinion by Nurse Mark
Here is an interesting piece of news that is just out this morning, found in Reuters Business News: (why is this kind of thing Business News and not Medical News or general interest news?)
U.S. top court rules against Wyeth in liability case: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090304/bs_nm/us_drugs_wyeth_court
It seems that The Drug Companies will no longer be able to hide behind the skirts of the mighty FDA by claiming immunity from responsibility for the ill effects of their patented poisons because they have complied with the rules and printed the FDA mandated "Black Box" warnings on their toxic offerings. Up to now these "fine-print" warnings about the potential harm of a drug have kept the drug companies safe: "We informed consumers, with the FDA-Approved warning, of the danger – so we’re not responsible!" has been their defense.
Well, according to the Supreme Court, this cop-out won’t cut it any longer – Big Pharma is now to be held responsible for the ill effects of it’s offerings, no matter what "warnings" are printed on the package.
So, this is a good thing, right?
I don’t know… I foresee some unintended consequences here folks…
This will certainly be a good thing for those individuals who are harmed by these toxins – the person involved in this case, a guitarist, lost her arm and presumably her income and musical career to the toxic effect of a drug, and was awarded a multi-million dollar settlement – that is nevertheless just a tiny drop in the billion-dollar profit bucket of Big Pharma.
But I predict it will not be a good thing for anyone who must buy the offerings of Big Pharma, because they will not take this lightly – there are profits and bonuses and stockholders to consider. No, this will simply be factored into the obscenely inflated prices already demanded for these patented poisons, and you, the consumer, will pay for this settlement and all others like it in the end. You really didn’t think that the Wyeth executives would pay for this out of their annual bonus and profit-sharing did you?
On the other hand, maybe, just maybe Big Pharma will begin looking for some less-toxic, safer formulas to patent and profit from, since they know that killing and maiming people can now cost them regardless of "FDA Approval" and "Black Box Warnings".
Dare we hope?
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