December 22, 2004

They're After Aleve Now

Doubtless, you've all heard the news about Vioxx and Celebrex and the allegation that those drugs increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Now an Alzheimer's Prevention Study is being halted because Aleve, one of the medications they are using in the study, contains naproxen, the same ingredient contained in Celebrex. The subjects of the study were being administered Aleve, Celebrex or a placebo. I cringe to imagine of the activity going on in offices of plaintiff's personal injury lawyers over these revelations.

In fact, I don't really have to imagine. After the news about Vioxx came out, I received a letter from one of these lawyers, essentially soliciting potential clients who might have heart problems and who have been taking Vioxx. In case you didn't know this, plaintiff's lawyers send these kinds of letters out to other lawyers all the time.

All I can say is that there is NO drug without risks. That's why physicians are involved in prescribing drugs like Vioxx and Celebrex. Most patients benefit greatly from these drugs. It's a miniscule few who have adverse affects.

The fact that the few is miniscule will not stop predatory lawyers from attempting to feed on the bodies of the pharmaceutical companies making these drugs. And, it is probable that most of the cases will involve people who have heart problems because they are old. These same people will have arthritic pain because they are old. But the plaintiff's personal injury lawyers will find expert witnesses willing to prostitute themselves to testify that the drugs caused the heart problems. That's how it works in the realm of products liability.

If you think that the Pharmaceutical Industry is evil, go read this article written for Harper's Magazine by Mark Twain about the state of health care in 1890 when they were still using leeches for everything. (Hat tip Dr. Charles)

You want true tort reform? Figure out how to stop State-funded law schools from pumping out so many lawyers.