Here come the lawsuits

A board to discuss the newly-released drug Tysabri, (formerly known as Antegren) as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Sue the bastards!

Postby MetsFan » Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:22 am

<Again, I ask that we agree to disagree. If medical corporations are held accountable for their actions in THEIR pursuit and attempts to make money (at the expense of the patients), no matter how they are held accountable, they might be less likely to be so careless in the future, thereby benefiting patients greatly.>

Deb, I can't agree with you more. Drug companies running medical trials should know all possible outcomes, including rare side effects, prior to running the trials. If anything unexpected happens, the trial patients should be able to sue these corporations for millions or billions of dollars. It is immaterial that the trial participants have been advised that they are taking an experimental drug, and there may be unknown side effects and risk of death. It does not matter that the trial participants have signed waivers acknowledging these facts. The drug companies sell their drugs at a profit. Therefore, they need to be sued if anything goes wrong.

I also think that you would agree that any drug with any serious side effects needs to be pulled from the market ASAP. Patients and doctors are incapable of balancing risk versus efficacy. They need you and me to provide 100% safety by getting these awful drugs off the market even if they are successful at treating the condition for many.

The fact that a successful lawsuit would result in a chilling effect on research does not matter one bit. I look forward to the day that only government does drug research as they are not a for-profit entity and can rarely be sued for their errors. The government does everything in an efficient manner and never makes mistakes.

I am perfect. And in my eyes Deb (and Harry Z), you are perfect. We just need to go after those bastard drug companies which conduct trials for difficult diseases with treatments which are not perfect cures and which are not 100% absolutely safe.
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Postby bromley » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:12 am

MetsFan wrote:

The government does everything in an efficient manner and never makes mistakes.

I am perfect. And in my eyes Deb (and Harry Z), you are perfect. We just need to go after those bastard drug companies which conduct trials for difficult diseases with treatments which are not perfect cures and which are not 100% absolutely safe.



Not sure if your post was a joke or you've had too much to drink! I wish I lived in your perfect world. This is the first time I've seen a comment saying government never makes mistakes. I won't bore you with a long list of mistakes made by all governments.

I don't have any connection with any drugs companies but is easy to forget the benefits they do provide - the average life expectancy for men / women in the developed world is around 80. Much of this increase over previous life expectancy is due to vaccines, anti-biotics etc developed by drugs companies (and sometimes government). Many people now recover from some forms of cancer or have their lives extended or made easier.

Treatments for diseases are always going to carry risks - our immune systems and central nervous systems are very complex and not fully understood. 100% safety can never be guaranteed when putting chemicals into our bodies. Trials are the only real way to test for safety and effectiveness.

Suing drugs companies for billions will lead to investors pulling out of this market. The result will be less research and less future treatments. Perhaps you'd like to live in the past say 1800, when few treatments were around? You'd be lucky to get passed 40.

Drugs companies should be regulated, accountable etc but disease is a risky business. I'll try and identify a government created drug which is 100% safe and treats those stuck in cloud cuckoo land. You sound like you need it

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Re: Sue the bastards!

Postby HarryZ » Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:18 pm

Metsfan,

Why do I get the impression that you hold a fair amount of stock in pharmaceutical companies?

Harry
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Postby OddDuck » Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:50 am

Metsfan,

The small minor detail here that you refuse to notice is that Biogen DID know of the risks and did NOT disclose them to the patients. Plain and simple. It's hiding them that is the unforgivable part.

Hey, Harry.........don't waste your breath on him, either. The pharmaceutical world is about to be investigated and hit by the largest industrial unions in the United States and Canada (with 850,000 members). They'll turn their little profitable monopoly upside down. HAH! I can't wait!

Deb
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Re: Sue the bastards!

Postby DenverCO » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:46 am

HarryZ wrote:Metsfan,

Why do I get the impression that you hold a fair amount of stock in pharmaceutical companies?


Harry,

I didn't jump to that conclusion from Metsfan's post. He/she is simply pointing out the ludicrousness of the fairyland scenario that some members of this board propose.

Even if a company mastered the ability to snap its fingers thereby producing the ideal drug free of any risks or side effects, we'd still have a whole camp of users expecting it to be offered for FREE. Get real.

I propose that everyone who is completely risk averse just crawl back under the covers and wait another 15 years until the bugs have been worked out and the "perfect" therapy awaits you. Don't forget though...that would cut you out of a possible easy money class action lawsuit in the event that any problems arise. Something to think about.

Later: I stand by what I say in this post, but my snappy sarcasm is the result of current steroid use...a little edgy here!
Last edited by DenverCO on Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DenverCO » Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:10 am

OddDuck wrote:The small minor detail here that you refuse to notice is that Biogen DID know of the risks and did NOT disclose them to the patients. Plain and simple. It's hiding them that is the unforgivable part.Deb


WHAT risks, OddDuck?

If you're referring to the "undisclosed" possible PML link, we all now know that PML is rare and closely mimics an MS attack. Biogen certainly didn't sweep anything under the carpet there.

Or are you referring to the fact that Biogen became aware that the Avonex / Tysabri combo increased the strength / half-life of the Tysabri? That was all documented in their findings. A trial is an information gathering process. Researchers cannot be expected to put out an All Points Bulletin to the participants for every single detail that may or may not be related to the trial drug.

WARNING! There's been a case of optic neuritis in New York. We don't know if the patient is on placebo or not, but you need to know!

You obviously resent some of the basic tenets of capitalism, but Biogen is not the big bad wolf.
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Re: Sue the bastards!

Postby HarryZ » Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:26 am

Denver,

I didn't jump to that conclusion from Metsfan's post. He/she is simply pointing out the ludicrousness of the fairyland scenario that some members of this board propose.


Neither did I really...it was simply a sarcastic reply to a very sarcastic message that he posted.

Even if a company mastered the ability to snap its fingers thereby producing the ideal drug free of any risks or side effects, we'd still have a whole camp of users expecting it to be offered for FREE. Get real.


I don't think any of the posters here expect newly developed drugs to be risk free and totally safe, especially in the development and trial phases. But Denver, that's NOT what some of us are saying. What has been discussed is that Biogen knew of much greater risks and dangers with Tysabri but didn't relate those risks to the trial users and THAT is why they are being sued. You can't protect nor legislate yourself from negligence with fancy waivers and I believe Deb pointed that out. So perhaps it is not us that have to "get real"!

I propose that everyone who is completely risk averse just crawl back under the covers and wait another 15 years until the bugs have been worked out and the "perfect" therapy awaits you.


It's not the unknown bugs that bother most of us....it's the bugs that jump up and down in front of Biogen/Elan, waiving their arms and yelling out warnings...and Biogen squashing them and sweeping them under the carpet in the hope that they won't come back again. I am continually amazed how some people continue to defend Biogen's method of doing business when they have done such a disgusting job of trying to bring Tysabri into the MS market. It's too bad the people in the medical profession don't publicly state what they really think about this company. Then again, huge grants and other financial support have a way of suppressing that.

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hush money

Postby batpere » Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:50 pm

bromley wrote:I don't have any connection with any drugs companies but is easy to forget the benefits they do provide - the average life expectancy for men / women in the developed world is around 80. Much of this increase over previous life expectancy is due to vaccines, anti-biotics etc developed by drugs companies (and sometimes government). Many people now recover from some forms of cancer or have their lives extended or made easier.

Treatments for diseases are always going to carry risks - our immune systems and central nervous systems are very complex and not fully understood. 100% safety can never be guaranteed when putting chemicals into our bodies. Trials are the only real way to test for safety and effectiveness.

Suing drugs companies for billions will lead to investors pulling out of this market.

Drugs companies should be regulated, accountable etc but disease is a risky business. I'll try and identify a government created drug which is 100% safe and treats those stuck in cloud cuckoo land. You sound like you need it


Nobody denies the benefits drug companies provide. But when they don't disclose all possible side effects, the doctors are left clueless when confronted with the side effects and (often randomly or blindly) try other drugs to try to get the situation under control. These other drugs can cause unnecessary damage to the patient's health (kidney, thyroid, heart, reproductive organs).

But when people sue them, they try to settle for some amount
(10k, 100k, 1 million ???) but usually require a non-disclosure agreement. Should they accept and keep the ugly truth hidden just so they can receive some compensation for the damage the drug companies have caused by their withholding of information just so they can get a few more quarters worth of profit? Is that fair to the rest of us? How can the lawyers requiring such non-disclosure agreements even sleep at night? How could such agreements even be allowed or legal?
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