A history of dangerous devices

16 June 2017

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has just released a new report detailing how women have been disproportionately harmed by dangerous and unsafe drugs and medical devices: “FROM ACCUTANE TO ZONITE: A HISTORY OF DANGEROUS DRUGS & DEVICES MARKETED TO WOMEN,”

It is a long, fascinating, and shocking story. Did you know, for example, that it wasn’t until 1993 that legislation was passed requiring that women be included in biomedical research studies? And this was true even though “women take more medications than men, respond differently to them, and are more likely to suffer adverse drug events.”

The list of horrors is long: Thalidomide, the Dalkon Shield, DES, Vaginal mesh, and on and on. Again and again women in particular have been victimized by the pharmaceutical and medical products industries.

The report’s conclusion rings out, and should be shared widely:

Our current laws provide little incentive for the manufacturers of many of these products to keep them out of medicine cabinets and out of women’s bodies. In almost every case profiled here, the reports of death and serious injury have not forced manufacturers to take their dangerous products off the market; the civil justice system has. It is critical to the health of all Americans – not just women – that the ability to hold pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers accountable when their products cause harm be upheld.

The article may be downloaded from the AAJ site, at https://www.justice.org/news/new-aaj-report-examines-history-women’s-exposure-dangerous-drugs-and-devices.

It is well worth reading.