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The Downside Of Miracle Drugs

We live in a golden age of new medications. Pharmaceutical companies are constantly releasing new drugs and new treatments on a monthly basis, drugs which are more powerful, work faster, and have fewer dangerous side effects than what’s already on the market. Thanks to these medications, people live longer, survive deadly diseases, and can cope with otherwise troubling disorders. However, not every aspect of this golden age is positive.

The price of new medications is rising steeply (some would say arbitrarily) and not every health insurance plan can afford to cover the latest and greatest in new treatments. What’s more, the pharmaceutical industry can be highly competitive, and that sometimes encourages drug companies to falsify or otherwise cheat on their tests so that they can beat their competitors to the market. Somehow they think that people won’t notice or link the painful suffering or death of the user to their unsafe drug, but things rarely work out in their favor.

Here are a few of the drugs that are out right now which may be responsible for several injuries or deaths:


This drug is a blood thinner which doctors prescribe to patients who are at risk for blood clots and thrombosis, a condition where a blood clot gets stuck in a vein or artery and restricts blood access to a limb or even the brain. However, people who are taking Xarelto are dying of internal bleeding, a sign that the drug may be too active in thinning out platelets, the blood cells which create both unhealthy clots and healthy scabs.


This type-II diabetes medication is intended to help patients regulate their blood sugar levels so that they need insulin less often and need to watch their diet less carefully. But people on Onglyza keep dying of heart failure, and a study released in 2014 appears to link Onglyza to a 27 percent increase in hospitalizations for that reason.

The FDA is considering adding a warning about this deadly side effect to the drug’s label, but the survivors of those who died without knowing the risks are likely owed some compensation.


There are plenty of drugs out there that are unsafe for pregnant or nursing mothers, but such medications need to be clearly labeled regarding this risk.

Zofran is an anti-nausea drug meant to help with post-operation sickness and certain cancer treatments, and even though it isn’t indicated to help with the morning sickness associated with pregnancy, doctors have prescribed Zofran to millions of expecting mothers. Likely this was at the suggestion of Zofran’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, as pharmaceutical representatives are notorious for suggesting off-label uses in order to boost sales. However, despite their protests to the contrary, Zofran has been allegedly linked to over 100 birth defects and counting.

The difference between medication and poison is sometimes down to the dose. With some drugs the risk of side effects is worth the benefit, but – and this is the key – if the consumer doesn’t know what the risks are, the drug manufacturer can wind up in some pretty hot water.