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View Full Version : My HMO Tried to Kill Me!


gblowfish
11-18-2004, 11:57 AM
Back in May my right knee was really sore after working on the house all weekend, and it didn't get better for about 3 weeks. So I went to my local HMO approved doctor, who xrayed it, told me I had arthritis and gave me a big honkin' box of pill samples. Said "Take these till they're all gone, then come back and I'll give you a script for them." It was Vioxx. Luckily, I only took that crap for about a week, as I couldn't tell any difference in my knee. The only thing that made it feel better was an icebag. Ice and vitamin Glucosamine have put it pretty much back to normal. But it pissed me off that these HMO bastards gave me a box full of death to take home with me. I don't think I'll take any more drugs that are aggressively advertised on TV. Damn it Merck...Damn HMO"s!!! Story is here:

Congress Told FDA Failed Public on Vioxx
*Business - Reuters By Lisa Richwine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) failed the public in its oversight of Merck & Co Inc.'s painkiller Vioxx, which has been withdrawn, and is "incapable of protecting America" from another dangerous drug, an agency researcher told Congress on Thursday.

David Graham, an FDA (news - web sites) reviewer who had warned about the heart risks of Vioxx, called the FDA's actions "a profound regulatory failure."

Concerns about a possible link between Vioxx and serious heart problems were building during the drug's more than four years on the market. The FDA required a warning about the heart risk but felt the drug's benefits made it worth keeping on the market.

Merck withdrew Vioxx on Sept. 30 after a study showed the drug doubled heart attack and stroke risk.

"I would argue the FDA as currently configured is incapable of protecting America against another Vioxx. We are virtually defenseless," Graham told the Senate Finance Committee.

Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said he was concerned the FDA had a "far too cozy" relationship with drug companies and suggested an independent office of drug safety might be needed.

Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the FDA's Office of New Drugs, said the agency "worked actively and vigorously with Merck to inform public health professionals of what was known regarding (cardiovascular risk) with Vioxx and to pursue further definitive investigations."

Graham told the committee he felt pressured by supervisors to water down his findings from a study of patient insurance records that Vioxx users had a 50 percent greater chance of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths than people who took Pfizer Inc.'s rival medicine Celebrex.

In a statement Wednesday, Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford said Graham had violated long-standing procedures for publishing scientific findings when he submitted his research to a medical journal without FDA clearance.

Grassley said Crawford's statement appeared intended to intimidate a witness on the eve of a hearing.

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (news, bio, voting record) cautioned fellow senators to keep an open mind, saying: "Today some are trying to punish one drug company for acting appropriately within the framework of our regulatory system."

But Grassley said Vioxx was the second example this year of the FDA not having proper respect for it own scientists. Another FDA reviewer, Dr. Andrew Mosholder, had warned antidepressants were linked to suicidal behavior in pediatric patients, but supervisors initially kept him from making those views public.

"Now we have scientists in this particular (Vioxx) case who are being harassed within the agency because of sticking to their own science," Grassley said.

Grassley also faulted Merck for aggressively marketing Vioxx for nearly two years between submitting results of a trial to the FDA in June of 2000 showing a higher incidence of cardiac problems with Vioxx and the FDA approving a new label detailing those risks in April 2002.

"A blockbuster drug became a blockbuster disaster," Grassley said.

Merck Chief Executive Raymond Gilmartin, in written comments, said the company followed "a rigorous scientific process at every step of the way with Vioxx."

"Over the past six years, we have promptly disclosed results of numerous Merck-sponsored studies to the FDA, physicians, the scientific community and the media," Gilmartin said.

ptlyon
11-18-2004, 12:00 PM
You can't expect a doctor to know that they were dangerous.

ChiefsFanatik88
11-18-2004, 12:14 PM
If you honestly believe that all of these medicines are actually good for you, you are incredibly niave. I was given a prescription for Vioxx a few years ago so I went online to look at the side effects of the medicine, It took me about 20 MINUTES to read the whole list of dangerous things it had capability of. I did not take a single pill after reading all that.
My suggestion to anyone with prescriptions is to do your research on them before you take them. If they mention the word Death or increased risk of heart attack, question yourself as to whether you really need the medication or can do without it.

Phobia
11-18-2004, 12:43 PM
I rarely take any medication. I don't trust companies with more fiscal priorities than patients' health.

ptlyon
11-18-2004, 12:44 PM
I rarely take any medication.

Well that explains it

Otter
11-18-2004, 01:17 PM
I like the prescription medicine you see advertised on primetime television that supposed to get rid of yellow toenails as long as you don't mind possible liver and/or kidney failure.

My toenails could start to glow in the dark and I still wouldn't touch that crap.

BIG_DADDY
11-18-2004, 01:20 PM
The modern day doctor ended his education when they got out of medical school and are now nothing more than drug pushers for the Pharmaceutical companies. The problem with most doctors today is they treat symptoms and not the problem. Doctors still trip on me when I tell them I am not interested in taking a bunch of drugs to treat my symptoms. What I AM interested in doing is fixing the problem, can you help me with that? They just look at you with that blank stare and then say if I am not interested in taking their advice maybe I should see another doctor. " So you don't help fix problems you just treat symptoms?" I say. Man do they get pissed.

Sig Kauffman
11-18-2004, 01:23 PM
I rarely take any medication. I don't trust companies with more fiscal priorities than patients' health.

Then why are you a Chiefs fan? :p

Phobia
11-18-2004, 01:30 PM
Then why are you a Chiefs fan? :p

I'm not a very bright man.

KCWolfman
11-18-2004, 01:41 PM
If you have only been taking the med for 6 months, there is no increased risk determined by the FDA. Vioxx has increased heart issues with those who take it more than 18 months straight.

BIG_DADDY
11-18-2004, 01:42 PM
If you have only been taking the med for 6 months, there is no increased risk determined by the FDA. Vioxx has increased heart issues with those who take it more than 18 months straight.

I trust the FDA about as much as I trust Osama to do the right thing.

ROYC75
11-18-2004, 01:54 PM
If you have only been taking the med for 6 months, there is no increased risk determined by the FDA. Vioxx has increased heart issues with those who take it more than 18 months straight.


I currently awaiting my doctor to call me back. I have been taking Bextra for 2 1/2 years, it's very similar to Vioxx. I have spent the day looking up info on it, there are some disturbing reports about it right now.

:shake:

jspchief
11-18-2004, 02:01 PM
To me there's something inherently wrong with the way these companies market their drugs. Drugs shouldn't be "sold", they should be a product medical neccessity.

ROYC75
11-18-2004, 02:28 PM
Yep, here we go......
Pfizer faces first lawsuit over Bextra
Painkiller in same class as Merck's recalled Vioxx
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
BY DAVID SCHWAB
Star-Ledger Staff
It was only a matter of time before the lawsuits started naming Pfizer, not just Merck.

A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit claiming her husband died from a heart attack after taking Pfizer's Bextra, raising the specter the world's biggest drug maker could face legal problems.


Merck is already facing huge liability concerns after pulling Vioxx -- a painkiller in the same class of drugs as Bextra -- off the market Sept. 30. Immediately after Merck recalled Vioxx, Pfizer said its own drugs, Celebrex and Bextra, did not pose the same risk of causing heart attack or stroke.

But Pfizer later acknowledged that some studies showed taking Bextra -- an arthritis pain medicine similar to Vioxx -- could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Jerrold Parker, an attorney at Parker & Waichman in Great Neck, N.Y., said yesterday the lawsuit is the first involving Bextra to be filed against Pfizer.

Susan Bro, a spokesman for New York-based Pfizer, said she was "not familiar" with the Bextra lawsuit and the company doesn't discuss lawsuits.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in state court in New York by Susan Raymond of Parlin.

According to the complaint, Raymond's husband, Kyle, suffered a fatal heart attack June 8, 2003.

The victim, who was 46, had taken Bextra for about 10 months, according to Parker.

Merck has been hit hard by the recall of Vioxx, with shares down more than 40 percent and the company facing hundreds of lawsuits that could eventually cost Merck billions of dollars.

Advertisements from plaintiffs attorneys seeking Vioxx users who might have a claim have become common in newspapers and on the radio. So far, Pfizer has avoided a similar fate.

But it remains to be seen whether the problems with Vioxx extend to similar medicines taken by millions of consumers. The drugs have been heavily promoted as a way to relieve chronic arthritis pain without causing stomach ulcers.

Pfizer contends large, long-term studies show Celebrex and Bextra do not pose the same dangers as Vioxx, even though they are all part of the same Cox-2 family of drugs.

Pfizer says two smaller studies showing a problem with Bextra were limited to patients who had undergone open heart surgery and, therefore, do not apply to typical patients.

But some medical experts have raised questions about the safety of Bextra and the class of medicines.

Earlier this month, two leading researchers presented data at a major medical meeting saying Bextra presented the same elevated risk of heart attack or stroke. They criticized Pfizer for failing to promptly disclose scientific data. Pfizer said the findings were flawed.

Bextra accounted for $687 million in sales last year, while Celebrex sales exceeded $3 billion. Vioxx sales were $2.5 billion.



David Schwab can be reached at dschwab@starledger.com or (973) 392-5835.

KCWolfman
11-18-2004, 02:36 PM
To me there's something inherently wrong with the way these companies market their drugs. Drugs shouldn't be "sold", they should be a product medical neccessity.
How do you propose to pay for research?

mikey23545
11-18-2004, 02:41 PM
You people really need to learn the difference between legitimate concerns and personal injury attorneys' hot air...

jspchief
11-18-2004, 02:46 PM
How do you propose to pay for research?

Research for what? More drugs that consume an astronomical advertising budget to convince me that I need them?

Maybe instead of spending all that money on advertising, they should be spending it on educating our medical proffessionals. Or on research. I guess I feel like the doctors are the ones that should convincing me that I need drugs, and it should based on my medical need rather than someone's profit margin or the effectiveness of their advertising campaign. Besides, I find it scary that drug research and development is driven by what will be the most profitable rather than what will have the largest medical impact.

Ghostof
11-18-2004, 02:48 PM
"My HMO Tried to Kill Me!"


I had to take a second look at that. Thought it read:

"My HOMO Tried to Kill Me!"

ptlyon
11-18-2004, 02:49 PM
Does that remind you of a story?

KCWolfman
11-18-2004, 03:16 PM
Research for what? More drugs that consume an astronomical advertising budget to convince me that I need them?

Maybe instead of spending all that money on advertising, they should be spending it on educating our medical proffessionals. Or on research. I guess I feel like the doctors are the ones that should convincing me that I need drugs, and it should based on my medical need rather than someone's profit margin or the effectiveness of their advertising campaign. Besides, I find it scary that drug research and development is driven by what will be the most profitable rather than what will have the largest medical impact.
You have several concerns, but you didn't address my question at all.

You believe drugs should be handed out when people are ill. How do you propose to fund such an endeavor?

jspchief
11-18-2004, 03:25 PM
You have several concerns, but you didn't address my question at all.

You believe drugs should be handed out when people are ill. How do you propose to fund such an endeavor?

Excuse me? When did I say anything should be handed out? Put words in people's mouths much? Apparently you've misinterpreted what I've said.

I don't know how they should pay for research. I won't even pretend to understand how pharmaceutical companies handle that kind of thing. I do know that drugs have been researched and developed for ages without these mass marketing campaigns and without it being a financial jackpot for the companies involved. I'm not saying these guys shouldn't make money. I just think there's something morally lacking in the way they've decided to increase their profit margin. They've neglected the effort to make medical milestones, in the name of creating drugs that will they can market to the everyday Joe to cure illnesses that are mild at best and non-existant at worst.

KCWolfman
11-18-2004, 03:28 PM
Excuse me? When did I say anything should be handed out? Put words in people's mouths much? Apparently you've misinterpreted what I've said.


Evidently, I did. You said:


"Drugs shouldn't be "sold", they should be a product medical neccessity."

If they shouldn't be sold, then they should be handed out, right?

Unless, you meant they shouldn't be marketed, which is wrong (IMO) as well. If one drug does the same as another and costs less, I want to know about it. If one drug is similar to another and has either benefits or detriments then I want to know about it. That is the jist of advertising.


Now, I agree that Pharmys are out of control, but I don't think we should exclude them from free enterprise.

jspchief
11-18-2004, 03:44 PM
Evidently, I did. You said:


"Drugs shouldn't be "sold", they should be a product medical neccessity."

If they shouldn't be sold, then they should be handed out, right?

I guess the quotation marks didn't make it clear that I wasn't referring to "sold" in the literal or common sense. I meant sold as in marketed or advertised. As in "I'm going to sell you on an idea".

It just seems wrong that the company that makes money off of this drug is the same company that is trying to convince me that I need it. It's not a Big Mac or a pair of Nikes. It's preying on a person's poor health or fear of poor health, and the emotions that go with it. I'm just of the opinion that the only one that should be convincing me to take a certain drug is the doctor who has my health in his best interest.

I'm not so naive to think that they don't market (sell) their drugs to doctors either. I am however, still naive enough to believe that my doctor won't prescribe me a drug simply because they had an excellent marketing strategy. It's just the idea that these drug companies have created a mindset where people are going into a doctor's office already thinking they know what they need in terms of prescription medicine. Besides, mass-marketing may give people a false impression of what works better. Someone might say, Drug X is on TV all of the time, they must be doing well and it must be more effective than Drug Y that I've barely heard of. Then they go online and order Drug X based on that.

beavis
11-18-2004, 03:49 PM
You believe drugs should be handed out when people are ill. How do you propose to fund such an endeavor?
I think you answered your own question. People need medication when they are sick. They don't need it pimped to them on tv every night during the 6 o'clock news. There's a pill for everything anymore, a huge problem with todays society IMO.

Frosty
11-18-2004, 04:39 PM
I am however, still naive enough to believe that my doctor won't prescribe me a drug simply because they had an excellent marketing strategy.

I don't think I would be that naive. Doctors get a good portion of their on-going education/ new information from Big Pharma. There is also a lot of evidence that there are incentives to prescribe new medicines, even though there are older, cheaper (read non-patented) medicines available that are just as effective.

KCWolfman
11-18-2004, 04:43 PM
I think you answered your own question. People need medication when they are sick. They don't need it pimped to them on tv every night during the 6 o'clock news. There's a pill for everything anymore, a huge problem with todays society IMO.
Then ban all over the counter meds and advertising. After all, you don't "need" OTC drugs

BIG_DADDY
11-18-2004, 05:28 PM
The disclaimers alone should be enough to discourage anyone. They call everything a disease now so you feel you need a medicine to deal with it. Somehow recently acid indegestion got tuned into acid reflux DISEASE. I love the disclaimers though.

In some cases side effects including a bloody nose, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and even death have occured from using this product so let your physician know if you have any problems taking this medication. People who are too short, too tall, have high blood pressure, liver of kidney problems or people who drink alchohol or caffeinated beverages are discouraged form using this product.

Good god what else do you need to know not to stick that shit in your body? Problem is people don't question their doctors they just take their advice and the pill of the day. You ultimately are responsible for your own health, smarten up and figure out how to correct the problem instead of taking your doctors drug of the day to treat the symptom. JMO

Frosty
11-18-2004, 05:43 PM
I remember a few years ago there was ad for an anti-anxiety drug and one of the side effects was "uncontrollable oily stools". :eek:

Personally, I think that little side effect would counter-act the drug.

KcMizzou
11-18-2004, 05:46 PM
I remember a few years ago there was ad for an anti-anxiety drug and one of the side effects was "uncontrollable oily stools". :eek:

Personally, I think that little side effect would counter-act the drug.ROFL

Yeah... that would tend to cause anxiety, wouldn't it.

Inspector
11-18-2004, 07:51 PM
I hate oily stools.

Thye can cause you to slip off and hit your head on the bathroom floor.

The Pedestrian
11-19-2004, 06:15 AM
Switch me to an HMO! I demand negligence!

KCWolfman
11-19-2004, 07:53 AM
The disclaimers alone should be enough to discourage anyone. They call everything a disease now so you feel you need a medicine to deal with it. Somehow recently acid indegestion got tuned into acid reflux DISEASE. I love the disclaimers though.

In some cases side effects including a bloody nose, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and even death have occured from using this product so let your physician know if you have any problems taking this medication. People who are too short, too tall, have high blood pressure, liver of kidney problems or people who drink alchohol or caffeinated beverages are discouraged form using this product.

Good god what else do you need to know not to stick that shit in your body? Problem is people don't question their doctors they just take their advice and the pill of the day. You ultimately are responsible for your own health, smarten up and figure out how to correct the problem instead of taking your doctors drug of the day to treat the symptom. JMO
That is what it all boils down to. Know your doc, don't be afraid of a 2nd opinion, and learn ALL the negative possibilities of your meds.