One of the main ways drug companies get patients to take their drugs is through direct marketing to potential patients through television, Internet, and magazine advertisements. There was a time when the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not allow drug companies to direct market to individual users, but that ban was lifted a long time ago.
These days, it is typical for a patient to say to their doctor they want to take a particular medication. This is different from the past, when a patient would explain his or her symptoms and a doctor would tell the patient what drugs were available. However, today it is necessary to get doctors on board with prescribing a particular drug as well as having patients ask for the drug by name.
Drug companies spend considerable amounts of money sending pharmaceutical salespeople to doctors’ offices to explain the benefits of a new drug. Another way drug companies market to doctors is through the use of speaking programs. According to a recent news article from FierceDrugDelivery, makers of Xarelto, Eliquis, and Pradaxa have essentially engaged in an advertising war where they collectively spent over $20 million to pay doctors to speak about the benefits of their respective drugs.
Xarelto injury lawyers can explain these drugs are all part of a new class of medication known a New Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) used to treat patients who suffer from Atrial Fibrillation (Afib). What drug companies don’t want prospective patients to know is some patients will suffer from a serious internal bleeding disorder after taking the medication. These internal bleeding conditions are potentially fatal, and there is no approved way to reverse the effects at this time.
As the article notes, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers paid doctors around $8 million to speak about the benefits of Eliquis during the last half of 2013. This represents the second largest expenditure of this kind to promote a single drug. Meanwhile Bayer and Janssen spent just under $7 million on speakers for Xarelto, and Boehringer Ingelhiem spent nearly $4.5 million to speak about their NAOC, Pradaxa.
One of the reasons drug makers are willing to spend this kind of money is, despite record profits, many doctors are unwilling to prescribe NAOCs, since there is no FDA-approved antidote for the potentially deadly side effects. It should be note Warfarin, the conventional Afib treatment, can cause similar problems, but its effects can be reversed with vitamin K.
Another drug company is currently working on an antidote for Eliquis and Xarelto, but the FDA does not yet approve that drug. It is believed that if it the new antidote is proven effective and approved by the FDA, drug companies will rush to pay for the next round of speakers to tout the new antidote.
It seems obvious that drugs companies are more concerned with their respective profitability than patients’ safety. If you have taken one of these drugs and suffered a serious complication, you want an attorney who will be on your side – an attorney willing to fight the big drug companies and work to get you full and appropriate financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
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