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Actemra: Highly-touted drug has severe side effects

Actemra has been on the market since 2010 when it was approved by the FDA. It was introduced with claims in TV commercials that that it had no adverse side effects like other drugs for rheumatoid arthritis. Since then, Actemra has apparently caused “heart attacks, heart failures, and life- threatening lung complications” that have killed hundreds of patients.

A 2017 investigation by STAT, found that the rate of Actemra’s side effects may be higher than it is with other arthritis drugs. The other drugs have warning labels, according to STAT. Actemra does not. STAT is an online medical web page sponsored by the Boston Globe Media Group. Its acclaimed newspaper, The Boston Globe, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize 26 times.

Flaws in the FDA’s operations

As the FDA states on its own website, drug companies test drugs they want approved by the FDA and then “send the evidence that it is safe and effective for its intended use” to the federal agency. A report in The Washington Post cited critics who believe that system lets companies “design research that makes their products look better,” obscuring “dangerous side effects.”

Then, there are questions about how the FDA handles the research that drug companies present. A Yale University study of the federal agency’s approvals between 2005 and 2012, found that one third were” based on a single trial.”  It also found the level of evidence varied and that “40% of the approvals involved a clinical trial that compared a new drug to an existing treatment.”

Another complication: While the FDA can “mandate” a recall if a drug company won’t pull a questionable drug off the market, it only does so “ in rare cases.”

Other FDA approved drugs also have checkered histories

Both pharmaceutical manufacturers of these drugs knew they had dangerous side effects but they spent years on the market. Merck’s pain killer Vioxx was approved in 1999 and was finally recalled in 2004. National Public Radio (NPR) reported in 2007, that it may have caused 88,000 heart attacks, resulting in the deaths of 38,000 Americans while it was still being prescribed.

GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, may have caused 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths and cases of heart failure,” according to a report on CBS News in 2010.  It is still being prescribed.  But it has severe warning labels.

Lawsuits provide justice for Actemra’s victims

In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion in a fraud settlement for several of its drugs, including Avandia. In 2011, Merck agreed to pay $950 million to settle “thousands” of lawsuits.

For 40 years, Wayne Wright has been successfully victims of greedy companies. He is one of America’s top trial lawyers.  His national legal awards are proof of his expertise.  You will only pay fees when Wayne Wright wins your case. Calls and evaluations are free.  Get the compensation you deserve with Wayne Wright.

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