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Greedy Trial Lawyer

Drug Companies Interviewing Your Genes For Witnesses Against You

October 02, 2007

By Greedy Trial Lawyer

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Category: Gaming The System

The light bulb has gone on at Big Pharma. This genetic stuff can save our asses, is the new mantra.

Locating blame for adverse drug reactions

Adverse drug reactions often appear idiosyncratic. Some drugs have powerful effects and everyone experiences the side effects (e.g., cancer chemotherapeutic agents). Others, however, seem to disagree with only a few people, although that disagreement can be major. Obviously drug companies would rather not have to contend with the fallout that occurs when their customers become collateral damage. Much of the controversy over drugs like Vioxx is how much the companies knew about that damage and what they did with that knowledge. Big Pharma would rather the blame the drug failure on the victim than the company. Maybe that's too cynical a view of a new initiative just started by five of the world's biggest drug companies. On the other hand, when it comes to drug companies, can any view be too cynical?

The companies started the International Serious Adverse Events Consortium to study genetic causes of bad drug reactions, according to a statement today by the nonprofit group. The first two projects, in partnership with university researchers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will examine why some people suffer liver damage or life-threatening skin reactions to drugs. (Bloomberg)

Meanwhile the major cause of liver failure in the US remains Tylenol ingestion. Maybe that's the fault of some (fairly common) genetic variation. But maybe it's also caused by the combination of Tylenol with other factors in the diet, environment or over the counter or prescription drugs taken simultaneously.

Or maybe it's even because most of the American public thinks Tylenol is a perfectly safe drug. I wonder where they got that idea. Maybe they were genetically predisposed to believe it.

From Effect Measure

I would be interested in a genetic study of the leaders of the drug industry. There must be a common gene among them. It causes them to deny, deflect and deceive at every opportunity. It explains why they are doing so well under the Bush Administration.

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