Every once in a while, a pharmaceutical company will release a drug dangerous enough to draw national attention. Whether it be Zoloft causing significant birth defects, Paxil being associated with suicidal ideation, or Ambien causing people to do dangerous things in their sleep, these cases temporarily remind the American public of how dangerous medication can be. But these major incidents actually understate the scope of the problem.
A recent report from the non-profit group Public Citizen has tracked the number of fines levied by the government against the pharmaceutical industry. The results are staggering:
- Over 500 million dollars per year in fines
- Half of all cases the result of whistleblowers indicating the company was aware of the dangers of their products
- A majority of states identifying fraud in the pharmaceutical industry
Clearly, companies are putting profit over safety. Yet despite these fines and actions, pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in millions of dollars in profits, despite an established history of misleading marketing and development and release of dangerous drugs.
These numbers only indicate the fines governments have levied. Judges and juries have handed down additional millions in judgments. All told, the pharmaceutical industry pays billions of dollars a year in settlements and fines, yet the profits are sufficient to incentivize the continued release of dangerous medications.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to a defective drug, you are well aware of how the pharmaceutical companies prioritize their profit margins. Though State and Federal governments can fine these organizations hundreds of millions of dollars, this is not a suitable deterrent considering profits from these drugs can number in the billions. Please, consult with an experienced attorney about the harm you suffered.