Product Liability Case Study: Prescription Drugs
Every day, millions of people fall victim to faulty or defective products. What would surprise consumers to know is that many corporations are aware of defects before products even hit the shelves. From tainted food to disastrous environmental indiscretions, there are numerous instances of corporations deliberately endangering lives to turn a profit.
One area where corporations seem to consistently come up short in terms of consumer safety is prescription drugs. Johnson & Johnson’s Propulsid, a prescription heartburn medication, is one well-known example. From 1993 to 1998, Johnson and Johnson made over $1 billion in profit from the sales of Propulsid despite knowing that the drug caused deaths and serious heart problems in patients, especially children.
Documents from lawsuits on behalf of injured patients showed that the company did not conduct or publish studies that might have warned the public of possible risks. Additionally, it was found that though Johnson & Johnson agreed not to market the product for use by children, they indirectly marketed it to children anyway by funding seminars, books, and patient groups that advocated for use of the drug. As a result of Johnson & Johnson’s negligence, 300 people were killed and an additional 16,000 were injured by Propulsid.
Johnson & Johnson came under fire again in the early 2000’s for the birth control patch, Ortho Evra. Before the patch was released, researchers from Johnson & Johnson became aware that the patch delivered far more estrogen into the bloodstream than a typical, low-dose birth control pill. Because they knew that high estrogen levels caused heart attacks and strokes, Johnson & Johnson attempted to doctor numbers in clinical trials of Ortho Evra, reducing numbers it reported by a staggering 40%.
As result, the FDA received reports of at least 50 deaths associated with Ortho Evra between 2002 and 2006. For its’ part in covering up Ortho Evra’s deadly side effects, Johnson & Johnson has paid over $86 million in settlements to women who suffered heart attacks, strokes and blood clots from using the patch.
As shocking as these two cases may seem, there are hundreds more like it. And behind each one is a corporation that deliberately chose to endanger people’s lives in order to turn a profit.
Domnitz & Domnitz, S.C. are experienced product liability attorneys eager to represent those who have suffered substantial harm due to prescription drug poisoning. If you believe that you have suffered side effects of taking harmful prescription drugs prescribed by a doctor or other health professional, we may be able to help. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.