This is the kind of publicity the civil justice system routinely fails to garner. While it is easy to target lawyers and lawsuits as the bane of all of society’s problems, actions like the recent decision by Bayer to pull its drug Trasylol from the market demonstrate how important it is to have a system of redress that causes powerful corporations to consider
the potential penalty of making money on a product that is dangerous. Here the drug at issue can cause extremely gruesome problems to those who are prescribed it:
Joseph Randone, 53, died at Stony Brook University Medical Center on Aug. 8, 2006, eight months after he entered the hospital for a heart valve replacement. Bern said Randone was given Trasylol and that during surgery he suffered kidney failure – a known complication of the drug. This led to clots in both legs, which had to be amputated shortly thereafter, he said. As a result of fluid buildup Randone’s corneas became severely swollen, Bern said, and his eyes had to be sewn shut. He was on dialysis because of the kidney failure and eventually also needed a ventilator and a feeding tube.
While corporate interests will continue to attack what is frankly a very easy target, the civil justice system. Hopefully the general public will be able to wade through the muck and recognize the benefit of having this type of protection. Certainly the FDA can not be expected to police these industries alone.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.