Millions of crucial medical treatments would not be available without the companies that devote time and resources to developing and manufacturing them. While manufacturing companies save millions of lives each year, they may also jeopardize them. A number of well-known manufacturing companies currently face thousands of lawsuits for defective drugs and devices. Additionally, many of these companies withhold life-threatening information in favor of more sales and profits.
Founded in 1967, C.R. Bard originally specialized in catheters. In the 1960s, the company expanded to include a range of medical supplies and treatments in the areas of urology, oncology, and vascular systems. C.R. Bard is currently under fire for its transvaginal mesh products. These mesh products can cause severe complications such as erosion and perforation of the vagina and other pelvic organs. In the first ever transvaginal mesh lawsuit, C.R. Bard was ordered to pay $3.6 million in damages. Thousands of lawsuits were filed against C.R. Bard by injured transvaginal mesh patients.
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world’s most well-known manufacturing companies. It has global offices in more than 100 countries. In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $3 billion in damages for company misconduct. This is the largest pharmaceutical settlement to date. GlaxoSmithKline was charged with illegal marketing of antidepressant drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin. The company was also charged with hiding information about the deadly side effects of its diabetes drug Avandia. Studies show that Avandia could increase the risk of heart attack by more than 40 percent.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is perhaps the most well-known health product manufacturer in the world. The company has faced a series of product recalls for poor quality and unusual odors caused by contaminants. Tylenol is one of Johnson & Johnson’s most popular products. While Tylenol can be found in nearly every household in America, it can have devastating side effects. A number of patients have experienced liver damage from Tylenol.
DePuy Orthopaedics is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. DePuy’s ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular System were recalled due to severe side effects. The metal-on-metal components within the implants rubbed together and released metallic debris inside the bodies of a number of patients. This led to debilitating conditions such as metallosis, or metal poisoning.
Pfizer is a global manufacturing company that has offices in more than 180 countries around the world. The company currently faces a growing number of lawsuits from patients who were harmed by taking Pfizer drugs such as Effexor, Zoloft, Celebrex, Chantix, and Bextra. Antidepressants Effexor and Zoloft have caused a number of birth defects in children born to mothers who took the drugs. It is alleged that Pfizer marketed these antidepressants to pregnant mothers despite knowledge of possible birth defects.
Merck & Co.
Founded in 1668, Merck & Co. has grown to become a global manufacturing giant. It is well-known for products such as Coppertone sunscreen and over-the-counter allergy drug Claritin. Merck currently faces a number of lawsuits for products such as Fosamax, NuvaRing, Januvia, and Propecia. Fosamax is an osteoporosis drug that has resulted in a number of femur fractures and a rare jawbone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw. NuvaRing is a birth control device that has caused blood clots and pulmonary embolisms in a number of patients.
Stryker Orthopaedics has manufactured hundreds of products for surgical and health care purposes. The company is well-known for its advancements in implants for the shoulders, hips, and knees. In July 2012, Stryker issued a voluntary recall for its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant systems. These devices featured metal-on-metal components that fretted and corroded over time. This led to metallic debris buildup around the implant site of a number of patients. Many patients also experienced metallosis, or metal poisoning.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1781 in Osaka, Japan. It is currently the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the largest in the United States. Takeda’s type 2 diabetes drug Actos grew to become one of the best-selling diabetes treatments. However, numerous studies have shown that Actos can significantly increase the risk of congestive heart failure and bladder cancer. A number of Actos patients filed lawsuits against Takeda for injuries caused while taking Actos.