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Any Primal Attorneys out there? (RE: Statin Scam)

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  • Any Primal Attorneys out there? (RE: Statin Scam)

    Caveat- I know (and agree with) a lot of people who think we are an overly litigious society.

    However, bored today at work I started thinking about all the people who have suffered from following CW health advice. I started reading specifically about statins, and reflecting on them, and on all the other drug scams that leave people poorer and less healthy than when they began (Rolling Stone had a great article a few years back by Ben Wallace talking about the aggressive marketing of antipsychotics off label to people with other mental health issues, and how damaging it was, and how ultimately the drug companies had their feet held to the fire).

    I'm a law student, and I began to think about what would happen if someone identified a class of people who had really suffered from taking statins, say a group that fell outside the previous heart attack and under 65 male group who have been "proven" to benefit from statins. These other people would have no scientifically proven reason to take them, and would be experiencing a whole host of side effects. With discovery, an attorney representing such a group could gain access to a lot of the internal materials of the drug companies, and presumably would uncover an explicit campaign to market drugs to people their own research shows cannot benefit from them. If such a lawsuit succeeded, and I can imagine that it very well could, it would be a huge "emperor has no clothes" moment. Think about the effects of the asbestos and tobacco law suits, and the fact that statins are the most profitable drugs in history.

    Anyway, I have no medical malpractice experience, so I don't know how the law falls out regarding misleading advertising, prescriptions to those known not to benefit, and known side effects, but I can see how a pretty compelling case could be made to a jury that the drug companies have been misleading doctors and consumers by leading them to take expensive drugs with no benefit and horrific side effects. This could even lead to a greater main stream scepticism of drug marketing.

    Thoughts? I'd like feedback from everyone of course, I just am particularly interested in comments from anyone who might have some expertise in the area.

  • #2
    Meh. Statins, though not all they're cracked up to be, do have a place in medicine, and don't typically cause harm.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lojasmo View Post
      Meh. Statins, though not all they're cracked up to be, do have a place in medicine, and don't typically cause harm.
      The heck they don't. Here's a page showing which drugs cause nuropathy, from the people marketing "Nerve Support Formula", which contains Methyl B12 and Benfotiamine, and which definitely DOES work. Many people get neuropathy from statins, along with other problems like depression and osteoporosis.

      From further down that page:
      <<Statin Drugs

      Statin drugs are designed to block cholesterol. However, nerve cells are made from cholesterol and thus blocking it means the breakdown of the myelin sheath which is the cause of the nerve damage which is neuropathy.- see above under cholesterol drugs. >>

      Read the testimonials, and see how much neuropathy comes from ill-advised medical treatments, and how debilitating it can be:


      • #4
        Originally posted by mdlaw View Post
        Caveat- I know (and agree with) a lot of people who think we are an overly litigious society.
        I think you were right with your first sentence.

        [Begin RANT]

        These kinds of cases can be just as non-scientifically based and biased as the defendants' actions which brought about the suit.

        Example - the huge silicone breast implant suit in the early 90's; ZERO science to support it; yet an emotional verdict is returned for the plaintiffs to the tune of billions.

        Now the same exact implants are available yet again. Why ? Because despite the emotional verdict, there is NO additional autoimmune risk from silicone breast implants. Women suffer from autoimmune conditions at the same rate whether they have implants or not. Silicone surgical devices of all types are and have been used for decades throughout the body. The FDA finally got around to acknowledging the truth after enough people hurt by the outcome of that case complained.

        Geez Joe, you ask, How were other people hurt by this verdict ?

        To understand, check out Bastiat's economic law of the seen and the unseen (Parable of the Broken Window). I hope you can draw the analogy between this economic law, and the idea that a verdict for a small set of plaintiffs is the "seen" positive result from the litigator's viewpoint, while what is "unseen" is the enormous damage to all those who have their future medical options limited because of a court decision and cascading effects on regulatory policy and business actions.

        Truth has a way of shining through in time. Statins do have some positive effects for certain people, although they are over marketed for sure. A successful court case targeting statins would harm the "unseen" patients (unseen from the viewpoint of the litigator) who truly do need them.

        I am already seeing that doctors and patients alike are recognizing that they are over-marketed. Resources like MDA are a huge help in the ongoing education of the consumer. Read near the end of Mark's book where he goes into his biggest revelation of all : when it comes to your health, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Don't count on Big Pharma, Big Agra, or the State to tell you the truth.

        I think a healthy dose of skepticism, with more self-education and less lawsuits, would serve the public best. In other words, personal responsibility. The legal term is Caveat Emptor.

        [End RANT]

        PS - OK MDLaw - apologies in advance for the rant (not directed at you) and thanks for the opportunity. Intellectually you have posed a very interesting question. As a non-lawyer I have the idea that you lawyers all sit around at night dreaming this stuff, without regard for the consequences. Sometimes absurd intellectual exercises have a way of becoming the law of the land. Is this how it happens ?
        Last edited by Joe; 09-20-2010, 01:16 PM.
        Never eat anything bigger than your own head.