Takeda Pharmaceutical to Pay Up Big Time

DNA lab, by Flickr user University of Michigan, licensed by Creative Commons.

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Japan’s largest pharmaceutical drug maker will be paying a hefty lawsuit, ranging anywhere from 2.4 -2.7 billion dollars.  Takeda Pharmaceutical’s drug “Actos” has apparently contributed to the development of bladder cancer in many US. patients.  The plaintiffs in this case have alleged that Takeda Pharmaceutical did not properly warn individuals of the associated risks of taking this drug.  Takeda’s stance on the issue is that they are standing behind their product because they beleive that the benefits outweigh the risks.  This is a tough “pill to swallow” , because it posits that they are okay with loss of life or the potential for furthering a very dangerous disease, as long as it helps more people than it hurts.

I have always felt that weighing the costs and benefits of human life to potential company profits is a very dangerous game to play.  Is it enough that companies can agree to pay money when facing lawsuits while still standing behind their products?  It seems hypocritical to acknowldge that your product caused harm to individuals while also standing behind it proclaiming the good outweighs the bad.

It doesn’t take me by surprise that a major pharmaceutical corporation would produce a product that could have very harmful side effects, as many of them do.  All one needs to do is watch the commercials that appear in between daily news programs and you will see advertisements chalk full of the weirdest soundind pharmaceutical drugs with a laundry list of horrible side effects.  While these companies are trying to produce something beneficial for society, they are also still trying to turn a profit which they seem to do very well.  How can everyday day citizens tell what their true intentions are, and whether they truly want to help people first and make profit second.  As long as they are making the kind of money that they are, I personally feel that their decisions will be more heavily based on profit as opposed to any other factor.

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