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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Warning: Reading This Could Make You Sick

From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers

We’re living in an age where a new miracle drug for this disease, or that condition, is coming on the market every week or so. If you can hang on long enough with your ailment, there’ll be one for yours. It would be great if it stopped there. But the reality is, that’s only the beginning; of a scary and strange ride.

I truly believe every second commercial on prime time TV is for a law firm suggesting you might have a large bag of money coming if you ever took one of those drugs. The ads promoting the healing, curative qualities of the same medicine dominated the airwaves just a few months earlier. Now a law firm based in Houston, St. Louis or Dallas is telling us that if we took this highly promising medicine, we could have a substantial reward coming.

It doesn’t matter that the FDA approved the medicine. It seems irrelevant that 98% of the folks taking it did actually get better. The vocal 2%, accompanied by their ambulance-chasing, money-grubbing, litigation-happy legal hounds ruin it for the successful cases. If you’ve paid any attention to drug commercials of late, nearly 2/3 of the time allotted to the ad lists the potential issues you could face, up to and including heart failure and death. It isn’t kept secret. And when you pick up the meds at the pharmacy, the warnings continue in the volumes of literature attached to the pill bottle.

Who knows how many possible cures are out there in the wings but the manufacturers (and their lawyers) are gun-shy; and for good reason. Who really suffers as a result? It’s that 98% who could benefit without issue.

I’m not sure I have a remedy for this. It’s merely an observation. It just seems ironic that as medicine advances so much and so fast, those providing the healing meds are almost viewed as criminals.

For my two cents, perhaps “loser pay” in litigation and doing away with contingency fees and working on straight fees might offer a first step in getting this runaway suit-happy society under control. I roll the dice every time I take an aspirin or an antacid. I know that and accept the risk. If I’m in the small fraction of the population that has an adverse reaction, I don’t believe that gives me the right to steal from the manufacturer simply because there was a risk. After all, they did tell me about it.

I would be angrier if a cure or relief for a condition existed but I didn’t receive it because of the fear of litigation against the pharmaceutical company, or the doctor. As with so many other things today in our society we need to accept responsibility for our own choices and realize we don’t have compensation coming just because the choice we made fell in that 2% of problems. It’s just the way things go. As the bumper sticker says (cleaned up for family reading) “STUFF HAPPENS”.

I need to go take a Tylenol. Thinking about this is giving me a headache!

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