Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Jackels Are Gathering

The lawyers are swarming. People voice concern over the Patriot Act invalidating our rights to privacy. For the wellbeing of my country I am willing to have the government investigate my library use or search my home if there is a reason sufficient to obtain a search warrant. Perhaps I am willing because I have nothing to hide. This, however, is not the government invading my privacy but a law firm in California.

This letter was not some random, mass mailing to current resident. It was addressed to me and me only at my correct address. How do they know I took Vioxx? It relieved my pain and I have not had a stroke or heart attack but they surely want me to join in on a class action suit against Merck. They tell me "you probably have the right to a CASH SETTLEMENT NOW!!" They go on to tell me, "you MUST call our Beverly Hills Law Firm NOW" and if you delay and don'tcall you may run out of time and LOSE YOUR RIGHTS!!!"

This is a fine example of why we need tort reform. How many people who get this letter really will call and join in the efforts of the lawyers to make big bucks from Merck? How many will think they really are eligible to get money even when not harmed? The media have not been very clear in how Vioxx caused stroke and heart attack. For those who suffered from heart attack and stroke it was because of thrombus (clot) formation within a vessel. It did not attack the brain, it did not damage heart muscle. It caused clots which blocked vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle or the brain. People who suffered such heart or brain injury probably had some underlying vessel disease. Eating the wrong foods, inheriting genetic predispositon to vascular disease may have played a major role in these health problems.

Lest anyone accuse me of being in the pharmaceutical business, owning stock etc. rest assured I am not in the business nor do I own any stock. I have my criticisms of the pharmaceutical companies. I dislike the advertising prompting people to demand the latest drug on the market. I think advertising dollars should be spent on informing doctors only since they are the ones who make the judgement of what medication a person needs. The cost of mass advertising could be spent on research, development and clinical testing of new, possibly life-saving drugs. The cost of advertising could also be directed toward decreasing the cost of medicine for all citizens.

I spent my life in the medical field as a professional nurse. I have seen so many improvements in the past 50 years. I honor those who spend years doing the research that has brought us so many drugs that have extended our life span because of the ability to control many chronic health problems. I have personally thought that those I have lost may have been in my life for a longer period of time if only the drugs had been available in their lifetime. I hate to see the jackels gathering now to win huge monetary awards for those who truly suffered a loss and those who merely took a drug. Do you realize the millions of dollars the lawyers will be pocketing? Do you realize that true victims will only receive a small percentage of whatever the award turns out to be? Pfizer will be the next pharmaceutical company due to Celebrex. They will be watching Searle's Bextra and the many companies who make or distribute naprosyn which is commonly marketed under the trade name of Aleve. This will continue until such time as tort reform allows for reasonable payment for those actually injured and curb lawyers filing these huge suits and pocketing huge fees.


  1. The costs of these legal actions surely up the costs of all other medications as well as curb research into areas that will not provide a mass market.

  2. Anonymous9:30 AM

    I also got one of those letters addressed to me and I have never taken one Vioxx in my life. The jackals are out there fishing for anyone they can net. Toots