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New England Journal of Medicine’s Ex-Chief Editor’s Astonishing Criticisms Put Pradaxa, SSRI, and Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits in Context

Are you someone who’s been researching legal action for injuries you sustained due to side effects from transvaginal mesh, the drug Pradaxa, SSRI antidepressants, or other drugs or medical equipment?
If so, you might be under the impression that your situation is somehow special – that is, that the drug or piece of equipment that injured you typically works well for other people.
Or perhaps you’re aware that the drug or equipment lacked a reputation for being safe… but, even still, you retain a general faith in our medical research system. In other words, you believe that your potential class action or personal injury case is something of an anomaly.
A recent radical admission by the former Editor in Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine should shatter that notion. Dr. Marcia Angell, the former Editor in Chief of the NEJM and author of “The Truth About The Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It,” recently let loose a series of bombshell admissions based on her tenure at the nation’s most respected and widely read medical journal.
Her words have already sent shockwaves through the medical establishment: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
Among scads of evidence, Dr. Angell points to the case of a Harvard Medical School professor, Dr. Joseph Biederman, who serves as a top pediatric psychopharmacologist at Massachusetts’s General Hospital in Cambridge.
Dr. Angell blames Dr. Biederman for seeing to it that children as young as two years old (!!) are now diagnosed with bipolar and “treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs, many of which were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that purpose, none of which were approved for children below 10 years of age.”
Without getting into the details about the allegations against Dr. Biederman — and Harvard’s response and all of the counter arguments — understand that Dr. Angell’s attack is not the rant of a conspiracy theorist or of an anti-pharmaceutical company blog or anything. These are the words of a very respected woman, who saw firsthand how medical journals can be corrupted by and unfairly influenced by powerful drug makers.
Given this background, is it really that surprising that companies like Johnson & Johnson would be able to flout the FDA’s warnings about the safety and efficacy of transvaginal mesh? Is it a stretch to believe that drugs like Pradaxa may have dangerous side effects that drug manufacturers do not want you to know about?
Obviously, there is a fine line between criticizing bad science and embracing the opposite extreme of nihilism or “overskepticism.” But there is clearly some kind of pathology at work on a general level that’s likely causing people to be exposed to undue risks from drugs, equipment and certain medical procedures.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt by a drug, piece of equipment, or medical negligence, the team here at Carey, Danis, and Lowe can help. Learn more about us online, or call us for a free case evaluation.