As the cases unfolded some years ago, I kept track of the noted concerns that led to the removal of Vioxx and Betra and the significant warnings for Celebrex.
Click here if you want to see these past posts - I was pretty hot.
I will restate my personal connection to these.
I was given both Vioxx and Bextra by my physician in the early 2000s and I reported feeling an increase in my blood pressure. He told me that I was not in the "risk" group for problems. The drugs were given to me as samples. He gave me bags full of them. Later, both drugs were associated with adverse health outcomes - regardless of one's "risk" profile.
My father was taking Celebrex when he died of a heart attack in 2002, but his pre existing heart disease prevented a drug connection.
I have strong and varied concerns about the drugs, such as
- the known and hidden risks attributed to them
- the pharmaceutical industry's effort to cover them up, and
- their efforts to push them, even for conditions they were not originally approved to treat
But this is all old news which I've covered enough. (If memory serves me correctly, only Vioxx lawsuits went forward - for those who had heart attacks and for those whose loved ones died of heart attacks).
It is the newest lawsuit that has caught my ire. Investors are suing the makers of the drugs because they hid from them the research that indicated problems. I.e, the people who took the medicine, in clinical trials, were suffering adverse events. The investors bought stocks in the companies because they thought the drugs would be blockbusters but instead the pills turned out to be widow makers. Shares plummeted.
I agree that hiding results is a huge problem and the companies should be held accountable. I am not arguing this fact. I just have to wonder, do the investors have more power in our court system than the people who lost their lives or those they loved?