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Asthma drug may be putting thousands of Americans at risk

If your doctor prescribed you a drug, would you take it? Most people in Troy would, but just because a doctor has prescribed a medicine does not mean that it is safe. Unfortunately, there are some drugs that make their way to the market without sufficient evidence that they are safe or, rather, evidence emerges later on that they have serious side effects. Regardless of why the medications are dangerous, it is important to recognize that people injured by dangerous drugs often have legal recourse against the drug manufacturer.

Like any consumable, manufacturers are responsible for creating safe and consumer-friendly products. If something has side effects or is inherently dangerous, it needs to be made explicitly clear to the public. When these specifications are not met, manufacturers can generally be held liable for any injuries or deaths resulting from their products. This applies to dangerous drugs as much as it does to other products.

There is increasing speculation that GlaxoSmithKline, the company behind the asthma wonder drug Advair, may find themselves the subject of product liability lawsuits soon, after evidence is growing that the drug can be dangerous. The inhaler combines two of the most-common asthma medicines: corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agnoists. The problem appears to be the beta-agonists and their tendency to cover up progressively worse inflammation in the lungs.

Eventually, a patient could have a fatal asthma reaction, despite thinking his or her asthma was under control. It is not just Advair, however, that has reportedly caused fatal asthma attacks. Rather, there have been 1,900 asthma deaths linked to beta-agonists between 2004 and 2011.

Asthma is a serious condition and often needs serious medication, but it is also extremely important that appropriate and safe medication be used to treat it. When asthma patients are exposed to dangerous drugs, they may find themselves seriously or fatally injured, merely because they are trying to achieve some comfort from their breathing troubles.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Advair: How safe is this drug?" John Fauber, Nov. 18, 2012

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