Who we are
The Consumer Justice Foundation is dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers who have been harmed by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug or a defective consumer product. Contact our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation today if you or a loved one has suffered serious drug- or device-related injuries.
Here at the Consumer Justice Foundation, our consumer advocates are just regular people like you and me, whose primary goal is to protect the public from the deceptive actions of pharmaceutical drug companies, medical device makers and product manufacturing companies who have their own best interest in mind. Far too often, innocent adults, adolescents, children and the elderly suffer life-altering or fatal injuries from side effects that likely could have been prevented had the proper warnings been provided to the public. Take the Takata exploding airbag problem, for example. Following the recall of millions of defective airbags that were believed to have been accountable for more than 100 injuries and at least six deaths, it was discovered that the Japanese airbag supplier knew about the issue for more than a decade, but failed to warn consumers about the defective auto part.
Defective Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Devices
100,000 Americans die every year from the known side effects of prescription drugs, which amounts to 270 medication-related fatalities each day, or one pharmaceutical drug death every five minutes. That’s more than twice the number of people who are killed in auto accidents every day.
The pharmaceutical drug industry is one of the largest and most lucrative industries in the United States, and statistics show that 65% of Americans currently use at least one prescription drug, whether it’s a diabetes drug, an antidepressant medication, a cholesterol-lowering drug or an oral contraceptive. Unfortunately, many of the most widely-used medications in the United States have been tied to devastating side effects like blood clots, diabetes, bladder cancer and even death. In fact, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug-related deaths have been steadily increasing over the past two decades, and have now become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
Drug-Related Injuries, Deaths Among Children
Even children are being prescribed potentially dangerous medications now more than ever before, for conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavior disorders, and autism, and studies show that, in recent years, sales of medications for children have been the drug industry’s fastest-growing business. The following are some alarming statistics regarding pharmaceutical drug use among children:
- Children in the U.S. take three times as many ADHD medications and antidepressant drugs than children in Europe.
- Between 2004 and 2005, approximately 71,000 children were seen in emergency departments in the U.S. every year, because of a medication overdose.
- A child receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a drug every eight minutes in the United States.
- Doctors only follow recommended guidelines for prescribing powerful antipsychotic medications to children about 50% of the time.
Potentially Dangerous Medical Devices
Another major concern for consumers in the United States is the prevalence of potentially defective medical devices that remain on the market, despite research and adverse event reports suggesting that these consumer products are dangerous even in the context in which they are meant to be used. From metal-on-metal hip implants to surgical robots, bone graft products and power morcellators, there are hundreds if not thousands of medical devices currently being used by doctors and hospitals that could potentially put patients at unnecessary risk for permanent injuries, or possibly even death.
FDA’s 510(k) Approval Process for Medical Devices
Despite these serious risks, manufacturing companies continue to market their potentially dangerous medications and medical devices to Americans, in hopes of turning a profit, and the FDA continues to approve the products for consumer use, putting adults, adolescents and children at risk for serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. The FDA even has a special program in place called the 510(k) approval process, which fast-tracks certain medical devices so that they can be placed on the market more quickly, as long as they are “substantially equivalent” to a product already on the market.
Unfortunately, many medical devices currently on the U.S. market have been shown to cause serious side effects in patients, and new devices approved under the 510(k) program are being cleared by federal regulators because they are similar to these very products. The FDA does occasionally take action and issues a nationwide recall of a defective medication or medical device, but this typically only comes after tens, hundreds or thousands of consumers have already been injured or killed. At this point, the stakes are so high that not taking action would make the FDA look like it’s not doing its job, which many critics believe is the case.
How the Government is Involved
In 2012, Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $800 million to resolve criminal and civil charges stemming from the company’s illegal marketing of its anticonvulsant drug Depakote for off-label uses. That same year, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $1.043 billion to resolve similar claims over its marketing of antidepressant drugs like Paxil and Wellbutrin. In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve claims associated with the off-label promotion of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal and other medications.
Consumer protection laws are a form of government regulation designed to protect the rights of consumers, and it is up to the government to hold businesses accountable when they engage in improper conduct and take advantage of consumers’ lack of information. One responsibility that falls on the shoulders of federal regulators, for example, is to ensure that manufacturers and distributors disclose detailed information about their products, whether they are hawking pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices or consumer goods, particularly in areas where safety or public health is a concern.
In the United States, there are a number of laws at both the federal and state level that aim to protect consumer rights and freedoms by putting a stop to misleading advertising and deceptive trade practices, and by developing sufficient safety standards and pursuing recalls for defective or dangerous products. While the government has, in some cases, stepped up and pursued legal action against deceptive companies – like in the case of the Justice Department’s $2.2 billion settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson over its illegal Risperdal marketing practices – consumers across the country continue to fall victim to deceptive companies and their misleading marketing schemes, which sometimes even take advantage of their close ties with healthcare providers.
Doctors Have Financial Ties to Big Pharma
According to one survey, nine out of ten doctors admitted that they had recently accepted something of value from the pharmaceutical industry, whether they were given a gift, were paid to act as a “consultant” for the drug company, or were reimbursed for sitting on corporate advisory boards.
As consumers, we depend on our doctors to act as independent gatekeepers and diagnose our injuries or illnesses, only prescribing pharmaceutical drugs when necessary, and ultimately keeping us safe from medications we don’t need, and that could potentially harm us. Unfortunately, some of the top consumer advocate organizations in the country have painted a rather frightening picture of the current state of the pharmaceutical drug industry, suggesting that many physicians are actually financially tied to the industry, and are writing the prescriptions their financial backers ask them to write. This is a gross misuse of the healthcare industry’s power, and subjects consumers to the whims of drug companies, who are more concerned about their bottom line than they are about protecting the safety of patients.
Our Consumer Advocates Are Here to Help
If you can’t trust drug and device manufacturing companies, and you can’t trust the FDA, and you can’t trust your own doctors, who can you trust?
We aren’t lawyers, and we have no ties to any government institutions. We are simply a group of consumer safety advocates who believe in finding and exposing the truth, especially when it comes to protecting the safety of consumers across the country, and most especially when it comes to defending those who can’t defend themselves. Our duty as consumer advocates extends beyond the highly-publicized recalls of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices, to include the lesser-known dilemmas of everyday citizens, like car accident victims whose insurance companies refuse to provide adequate compensation for their injuries, victims of elder abuse or neglect in nursing homes, and even children who have been injured or killed while using dangerous or recalled children’s products, like strollers, cribs or car seats.
In all, the Consumer Justice Foundation is a consumer advocacy group dedicated to protecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens, including children, the elderly, the injured, the ill, and any other person who is unable to stand up for him or herself. Contact our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation today if you believe you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective medication, medical device or consumer product.
About The Consumer Justice Foundation Crew
I have always been an advocate. Every since I was a child I stood up for the kid on the block getting bullied by the tougher kids in the neighborhood. I sold lemonade from the lemon trees in my yard to help my soccer team and now as an adult, I spend my time learning how I can help people live in a safer country with all the freedoms we are entitled to as Americans. I like to expose large companies that are walking all over defenseless citizens, call out dead beat insurance adjusters not returning phone calls and report on which drugs may cause irreparable harm. I’m your advocate and proud of it.
My personal life and my profesional life don’t have much separation. I live to be a consumer advocate and all of my free time is spent enriching my life and the lives of others. I’m also a networker. I love meeting new people that have similar interests as me. Please send me a friend request on FaceBook or start following me on Twitter!
I was born in Brattleboro Vermont in the early 1970’s and was raised around people that provided for themselves. They worked the land, they built their own barns and they fixed their own cars. My childhood was greatly influenced by local college professors my family spent time with and hard working blue collar farmers whom were apart of our family circle. This combination provided me with a great stepping stone for life. Work hard and feed your brain.
I moved to New York City to get more exposure for my new career as a journalist where I started to follow politics and learn how a bureaucratic system really works. Between politicians never answering a direct question and large manufacturers of products and pharmaceuticals taking advantage of this slow system, it became obvious to me that some one needed to expose how horrible some of these atrocities are and to report the real news to people that think Network Television is unbiased.
If you like my writing style or have something you would like to report to me as a newsworthy topic worth investigating, get in touch with me and let me know!