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August 5, 2016

Rickard Op-Ed: How lawyers scare people out of taking their meds

ILR President Lisa A. Rickard published an op-ed in the Washington Post regarding the impact of plaintiffs’ attorney ads “which seek plaintiffs for lawsuits against drug and medical-device manufacturers.”

“In 2015, lawyers spent $128 million to air 365,000 ads like this,” writes Rickard. “In the first six months of this year, that number jumped to $85 million, or about 14 percent of all lawyer advertising dollars, according to X Ante, which tracks mass tort litigation advertising. And why not? They drum up business for firms.

“They can also scare patients to death.”

Rickard notes a recent report that found “at least 30 people suffered serious medical problems — such as strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms — because they stopped taking Xarelto without their doctors’ approval after seeing the commercial.”

“Two of those patients died, including a 45-year-old man being treated for blood clots,” she writes. “Two others were paralyzed. (Millions of people take Xarelto each year.)”

“As these ads proliferate, those responsible for protecting the public’s health and safety should make sure trial lawyers aren’t held to a lower standard than those who advertise the products over which they’re suing,” Rickard continues. “Until then, all TV viewers should heed the warning: Reacting to trial lawyers’ ad claims before consulting a doctor may be bad for your health.”

Read the full op-ed here

 

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