As consumers, we are introduced every day to new medications that have been approved to treat a variety of health conditions. We assume that since a drug has been approved by the FDA, it must have undergone extensive testing to ensure its effectiveness and safety. Based upon this information and an assessment of both the benefits and risks, we can make educated decisions regarding the medications we take. If a drug has a number of serious risks which significantly outweigh the possible benefits, an individual is unlikely to choose that particular medication over another. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturing companies employ misleading practices in order to ensure that their drug is approved by the FDA and made available to the public. Others fail to adequately test their medications before rushing them to market, putting consumers unknowingly at risk for experiencing serious, and possibly long-term side effects. This deception prevents consumers from being accurately informed about certain medications and severely inhibits their ability to judge a drug’s value.
Crestor is a drug that, despite considerable concern about its safety, garnered FDA approval and entered the market in 2003. Crestor was approved by the FDA to lower levels of cholesterol and has faced significant criticism since its introduction, and even before. Crestor had been associated with life-altering and potentially fatal health conditions before it came on the market, and has since been associated with serious medical issues, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, also known as SJS, is a potentially fatal skin disease typically resulting from a drug reaction. SJS usually affects the skin and mucous membranes, and while individuals may experience minor symptoms in the early stages of the disease, the nasal, eye, vaginal, urethral, oral, GI and lower respiratory tract mucous membranes are likely to become significantly involved during the course of the illness. Stevens-Johnson syndrome presents as a red or purple target-shaped rash that typically spreads within hours or days. Affected individuals will develop blisters on the skin and mucous membranes, especially in the nose, mouth and eyes, and the skin will begin to shed as cell death results in separation of the epidermis from the dermis. Common symptoms of SJS include:
SJS is an emergency medical condition that typically requires hospitalization and immediate medical attention. The complications associated with SJS are life-threatening and potentially fatal, including eye problems, damage to internal organs, permanent skin damage, respiratory failure, and secondary skin infection possibly leading to meningitis or sepsis.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is typically caused by an allergic reaction in response to medication, infection or illness, with medication being the most common. Crestor has been related to skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders, including SJS. Because of the harmful side effects associated with Crestor, consumer interest organizations have voiced their concerns about the safety of the drug, and a group called Public Citizen even filed a petition to have the FDA recall Crestor. In fact, because of the drug’s significant potential for causing harm, some major healthcare insurers have refused to reimburse victims of Crestor injuries and illness. Other healthcare companies are placing Crestor in the top tier of three out-of-pocket categories, in an attempt to discourage individuals from taking Crestor.
The dangers of the most powerful statin, Crestor, were evident even before the drug hit the market. Unfortunately, because of AstraZeneca’s rigorous marketing strategies, Crestor has become the most prescribed statin on the market, despite the drug’s extremely high standard dose which exposes most individuals to a much more intensive treatment than is necessary. Although the FDA has not yet recalled Crestor, experts have encouraged individuals with high cholesterol to choose statins that have been on the market longer and have more successful track record. They urge consumers to understand that the strongest medications aren’t always the safest or the most effective.
Despite the significantly dangerous side effects associated with Crestor, the drug is still on the market today. This is perhaps because of the influx of studies which endorse Crestor and its potential benefits, like the study performed in 2008 which determined that the use of Crestor decreased the frequency of cardiovascular issues in individuals who had normal cholesterol levels but elevated C-reactive protein level, a marker associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This study was sponsored and financed by AstraZeneca.
Unfortunately, it sometimes takes the injury and death of several individuals before a drug is finally deemed dangerous and removed from the market. Victims of injury, illness or death related to the use of Crestor are not at fault, but because of the enormous potential for injury resulting from Crestor use, healthcare insurers may not cover the medical costs of Crestor victims. The only way to protect your rights as a consumer and receive the reimbursement you deserve is to file a defective drug lawsuit against AstraZeneca. Lawsuits can reinforce the need for the introduction of safer drugs as well as more stringent regulations on the harmful drugs currently on the market. If you or a loved one has suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome and you believe Crestor to be the cause, contact a Crestor attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and a Crestor lawyer has the experience and knowledge to help you develop a successful case.