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When Dangerous Drugs Are Marketed to Women

By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Aug 16, 2017

A powerful piece titled “From Accutane to Zonite: A History of Dangerous Drugs & Devices Marketed to Women,” was recently published by the American Association for Justice. The article is a strong reminder of how pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies have marketed dangerous and even life-threatening devices to women over the years, and a look into how women are “fundamentally more at risk” from the potential dangers posed by defective and dangerous drugs/medical devices.

Through the Years: How Drug and Medical Device Companies Have Targeted Women

Over the years, drug and medical device companies have targeted women. The article delves deeply into a number of drugs, products, and defective medical devices that have not only been targeted at women, but have caused them harm. Consider this extensive list:

  • Barbiturates, morphine, cocaine, Prozac, and tranquilizers as the cure for hysteria;
  • Talc (linked to ovarian cancer);
  • Bleach as a douche and secret contraceptive;
  • Hormone replacement therapy;
  • Thalidomide;
  • Copper IUDs;
  • Tampons and toxic shock;
  • Parlodel (deadly lactation suppressant);
  • Accutane (birth defects, suicide);
  • Morcellators (spread of cancer through the uterus);
  • Yasmin/Yaz (blood clots);
  • Nuvaring (blood clots); and
  • Ortho-Evra (blood clots, stroke).

Why Women Are Targets

Did you know that it wasn’t until the year 1993, which is less than three decades ago, that legislation was finally passed in the United States that required women to be included in human subject research? This means that prior to this year, companies did not have to include women when testing the effects of drugs, products, or devices on health.

Today, women are still grossly underrepresented. While women metabolize drugs differently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require clinical trials to compare efficacy between women and men. What’s more, in 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed, which allows pharmaceutical companies to obtain FDA approval with little basis. Prior to the act, regulations were in place that demanded such companies prove that products were effective – and safe – through clinical trials.

What to Do if You Are Affected

Despite the list of dangerous products and medical devices listed above, which have resulted in severe harm and death to thousands of women, pharmaceutical companies still get a lot of leniency, and even when products result in death, there are few consequences. Laws as they stand do not incentivize drug and product manufacturing companies to ensure that their products are safe; instead, they motivate them to do what needs to be done to make profits.

If you are someone who has been harmed by a defective drug or medical device, our talented Philadelphia pharmaceutical litigation attorneys are here to represent you. While we understand that women may be more at risk of harm, and have been explicitly targeted in the past, we recognize that both men and women can be harmed when manufacturers fail to create safe products. For a free consultation with our team today, call us now or contact us online.

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