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Defective drugs and medical devices: Is marketing a key factor?

Many Tennessee residents may recall the tobacco crisis of the 1990s. That particular decade abounded with lawsuits against tobacco manufacturers and sales distributors who claimed they were fully aware of the health risks associated with tobacco products, but failed to properly inform consumers. Some current problems concerning defective drugs and medical devices appear eerily similar to the tobacco litigation of an earlier era.

A central issue raised in recent lawsuits is whether the current Opioid crisis in the United States is caused by deceptive marketing of such drugs. Those seeking legal accountability against drug manufacturers say there's excessive promotion and advertising regarding the supposed benefits of Opioid use for chronic pain and other health conditions, while evidence suggests the drugs do far more harm than good. Several big name pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma are being sued for overstating potential benefits and understating possible risks regarding use of Opioids.

A claim against Purdue Pharma says the company marketed OxyContin as a pain relief option that lasts 12 hours per dose. However, many patients reportedly became addicted to the drug because it wore off before that time and they suffered withdrawal symptoms, prompting them to take additional doses. One lawsuit claims that the drug companies caused the current Opioid crisis in the nation by downplaying the addictive nature of such drugs. 

Whether faulty marketing is responsible for defective drugs and medical devices is something the courts must decide on a case-by-case basis. Many Tennessee families and others throughout the nation have been ravaged by the effects of Opioid addiction. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding a particular situation or other medical malpractice issue can reach out for support by requesting a meeting an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: theatlantic.com, "Are Pharmaceutical Companies to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?", Alana Semuels, Accessed on July 5, 2017

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