Saturday, May 26, 2012

ALEC - Drugs - Immunity from Liability

TV advertisements luring people in to use drugs just drive me nuts.
Let's get everyone to go to their doctor and say I need these or I want this.

I've written about the nasty side affects of some of them previously - as noted by the FDA.

The one that has been on TV the most lately that is driving me nuts is ABILIFY®

At the end of the ABILIFY® advertisement they spend at least more than a minute on the warnings of taking ABILIFY®- yet they are still advertising that you may need it.

If you go to ABILIFY®'s webpage - they are even offer a free trial.
A free trial of a drug that has the following serious side affects (my emphasis) - as noted on the Abilify webpage.


Elderly people with psychosis related to dementia (for example, an inability to perform daily activities as a result of increased memory loss), , are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo.

Serious side effects may include:
·        An increased risk of stroke and ministroke have been reported in clinical studies of elderly people with dementia-related psychosis
·        •High fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, changes in pulse, heart rate and blood pressure may be signs of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare and serious condition that can lead to death
·        Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) can happen in some people who take ABILIFY. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. If you have diabetes, or risk factors (for example, obesity, family history of diabetes), or have the following symptoms: increases in thirst, urination, or hunger, feel weak or tired, sick to your stomach, or confused (or breath smells fruity), your blood sugar should be monitored
·        Changes in cholesterol and triglyceride (fat, also called lipids) levels in the blood have been seen in patients taking medicines like ABILIFY
·        Weight gain has been reported in patients taking medicines like ABILIFY so your weight should be checked regularly
·        •ABILIFY and medicines like it have been associated with difficulty swallowing which may lead to aspiration or choking
·        Uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body, as these may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD may not go away, even if you stop taking ABILIFY. TD may also start after you stop taking ABILIFY
·        Orthostatic hypotension (decreased blood pressure) or lightheadedness or fainting when rising too quickly from a sitting or lying position has been reported with ABILIFY
·        Decreases in white blood cells (WBC; infection fighting cells) have been reported in some patients taking ABILIFY. Patients with a history of a significant decrease in WBC count or who have experienced a low WBC count due to drug therapy should have their blood tested and monitored during the first few months of therapy
·        Seizures (convulsions) have been reported with ABILIFY. Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of or are at risk for seizures
·        •ABILIFY and medicines like it can affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. You should not drive or operate hazardous machinery until you know how ABILIFY affects you
·        •Medicines like ABILIFY can impact your body’s ability to reduce body temperature; you should avoid overheating and dehydration
·        •Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Also tell your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions you have and about all prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking or plan to take since there are some risks for drug interactions

While taking ABILIFY, avoid:
•Drinking alcohol
•Breast-feeding an infant

Most common side effects (≥10%) from all clinical trials involving adults:
an inner sense of restlessness or need to move (akathisia),
insomnia, and

It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience prolonged, abnormal muscle spasms or contractions, which may be signs of a condition called dystonia.

Why does this bother me so much?

Bristol Myer knows these conditions exist - but because they don't affect a large enough percentage of their "clinical trial groups" - they figure that they can take the chance on 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 percent of the population taking ABILIFY® to have any one or multiple of these side affects.

Because most of the companies that manufacture drugs - this one in particular - are members of the American Legislative Exchange council (ALEC).

What do they get from their membership in ALEC?
The ability to write laws that destroy consumer rights when a company does something that is heinous to the people who take their pharmaceuticals.

As of 2009 - Bristol Myers is confirmed as an ALEC member.
Their membership can be documented back as far as 1992.
For at least 20 years - Bristol Myers has been affecting legislation - that affects consumers - through their participation in ALEC.

They help wine and dine state legislators at fancy resort locations - and then Bristol Myer probably sits down at a table with the state legislators and suggests what should be written into legislation that takes away consumer protections against the very side affects that are listed above.

They help wine and dine state legislators at fancy resort locations - and then Brystol Myer probably sits down at another table with state legislators and suggests what should be written into that reforms tort law - so that if you are even able to get a case to court - you end up getting screwed anyway - because of the ALEC "model" legislation.

Evidence of this can be found in an excellent  new report by the CMD about ALEC’s Influence in Wisconsin where they document the following (my emphasis):
This bill would give drug and medical device manufacturers almost complete immunity from lawsuits based on strict liability if the product at issue were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and complied with FDA regulations, despite the fact that numerous FDA-approved drugs and devices are recalled each year after causing injury or death to Americans. The FDA approval process demonstrably and routinely fails to weed out dangerous products. The bill would prevent Wisconsin families from holding corporations accountable for prescription and over-the-counter drugs that kill or 22 seriously injure themselves or a parent, spouse, or child. The Wisconsin version of this bill goes further than ALEC’s “Drug Liability Act” by extending its bars against suits to injuries or death caused by medical devices. Last Action: Did not pass.

- ALEC members like Brystol Myers are trying to get legislation passed that will take away the ability of your state attorney general to file lawsuits against companies like Brystol Myers.

Directly from a 2009 ALEC State Factor Report entitled “The Impact of Federal & State Safety Regulations on Liability”
The key question for state legislators is: should decisions about the health and safety of patients in the state rest with a single plaintiff’s experience or the drug’s benefits to society as a whole?

Are you willing to let ALEC and their pharmaceutical profit sector members put your life, your parents lives, your spouses life, your childrens lives, on the line?

Well ALEC pharmaceutical profit sector members are willing to roll the dice
- and leave you with no legal recourse
- becausetheycan - through their ALEC membership.

For over 20 years
- ALEC has been looking out for their Corporate Profit Sector members
- because ALEC Corporate Profit Sector members pay 98% of ALEC's bills.

Tell me folks - who do you really think ALEC legislators work for?

1 comment:

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