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How Big Pharma Runs Roughshod Over the Elderly

Everyday there is a new ‘shocker’ that opens our eyes even wider to the abuse of one group, individual or species. Whatever we may think of the FDA, they were the watchdog on this one and they got their culprit albeit eight years later. It does, however, beg the question, did they really make things right or did they just look the other way until this matter was so blatant that they had to do something. We will never truly know, but the facts of this misuse and abuse is a lesson to learn from and a wake-up call for us to ask a lot of questions and even get extra opinions when looking out for our elderly loved ones.

A New Jersey company, Par Pharmaceutical, for over eight years, has made millions misrepresenting one of their drugs—eleven million to be exact. Par irresponsibly sold Megace ES as a weight-gain drug for patients in nursing homes and various long-term care facilities. Though approved by the FDA for treating weight loss due to AIDS, somewhere along the line Par decided they had another profit center in their hands. And away they went without proper additional research and clinical trials as had been requested by the FDA if they wanted to market the drug for other uses. But why would they want to go to all that extra work when they had a good thing going without spending time and money on such requirements. After all, they were handsomely rewarding their top-producing sales representatives with things like Rolex watches and fancy vacations. These reps, being very good at what they did, approached doctors and nursing homes that cared for geriatric patients that didn’t have AIDs. Sadly, the side effects included a risk of deep-vein thrombosis, a toxic reaction in the elderly suffering with impaired renal function, and death.

Luckily for the public, Par Pharmaceutical lost their court battles involving what is called “off-label” marketing of their weight-gain drug. They pled guilty in federal court. And in March of this year, they settled the case against them and agreed to pay $45 million in penalties.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, just copy in its entirety with the blurb below.

LouAnn Savage is publisher and editor of The Weekly Healthline, an online health and lifestyle publication. Subscribe free at: HealthFitForLife.com. Follow her on Twitter @louannsavage and join her on Facebook. She is an Asea distributor.

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice or suggest a treatment or cure of any disease. Consult your personal healthcare provider for medical advice.

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