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When Drug Makers Hide Dangerous Side Effects

December 3, 2018 by The Parrish Law Firm

When drug makers hide the dangerous side-effects of their products, patients cannot make an informed decision on whether to take the medication. What is worse, some of the side-effects concealed or glossed over by drug makers are particularly adverse and, in some cases, even life-threatening.

A massive legal framework exists to regulate the pharmaceutical industry. Companies face high standards for the safety and efficacy of their products. But drug makers have creative ways to downplay and even conceal the risks of their products altogether. If you or someone you love suffered harm after taking a dangerous or defective drug, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the drug maker. A lawyer can help. Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, at 571-229-1800 for a free consultation.

How Drug Companies Conceal Dangerous Side-Effects

A 2016 Business Insider article explored the sneaky tactics used by drug makers to gloss over the side-effects of medication. Some companies have gone far beyond simply minimizing a drug’s side-effects to activley hiding them from the public outright, sometimes with deadly results.

When running TV, radio, and print ads, drug makers are required by law to list a product’s common side-effects. You have probably seen commercials for drugs that treat minor conditions such as seasonal allergies. Then the rapid-fire voice comes on at the end, listing a deluge of awful-sounding side-effects, all much worse than the ailment the drug claims to treat. What you may not know is that drug makers exhaust extensive resources to fulfill this legal requirement while making sure as little negative information as possible sticks in the audience’s head.

The Case of Bayer in 2008

In 2008, the drug maker Bayer ran a series of TV ads for a birth control medicine called Yaz. As the law required, a narrator, talking at a record pace came on at the end to list the drug’s side effects, but viewers’ senses were scrambled by a montage of fast-paced, visually stimulating graphics.

The goal in this combination was to ensure they retained as little information as possible. The FDA was not impressed and made Bayer reshoot the ad, this time without the distracting visuals during the side-effects rundown.

Deadly Outcomes From Undisclosed Side-Effects

While the Bayer case was notable for the lengths the company took to obscure undesirable side-effects, no known deaths resulted from the Yaz birth control pill. Other drugs, however, have led to much worse consequences. Here are some of the scary outcomes caused by drug companies hiding dangerous side-effects:

GranuFlo and NaturaLyte

GranuFlo and NaturaLyte are drugs used for kidney dialysis and are manufactured by Fresenius Health Care, the world’s largest dialysis company.

According to the thousands of lawsuits filed against the company, the drugs can cause an excess of carbon dioxide to accumulate in patients’ blood, leading to severe complications including cardiac arrest.


Ivokana is a Type 2 diabetes medication that removes sugar from the urine. In 2017, the FDA implicated the drug as being associated with more than a twofold increase in the risk of leg and foot amputations.

In our own dangerous and defective drug personal injury legal practice, we have seen several persons who suffered harm because of Ivokana’s side-effects, and none of them had been made aware of the risks before taking the drug.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors relieve heartburn by blocking acid from the digestive tract, but they are also associated with catastrophic side-effects including dementia, heart attacks, and kidney disease.


Abilify is a schizophrenia drug linked to side-effects involving compulsive behavior, such as gambling and risky sexual activity.

For a Free Case Evaluation With the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, Call 571-229-1800 Today

The dangerous and defective drug lawyers at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, can help you take legal action if you or someone you love took medication and were not made aware of the side-effects. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call 571-229-1800 today.

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