As I’ve grown older I’ve learned to appreciate the difficulty of keeping my body (and mind) in great physical (and mental) shape. I hit the gym three days a week to lift weights with a trainer. On the odd-date days I really stretch myself by doing yoga or speed-walking to the Starbucks® a couple of miles from my home. As my age has increased so has my strength and muscle-mass. I only wish I’d been as dedicated when I was in nursing school.
Before I became a nurse, my exercise consisted of scrambling for Mardi Gras beads and doubloons in the crowded parades of New Orleans (a true contact sport), playing intramural basketball for my high school, playing neighborhood touch football and baseball in the streets, and wrestling with my twin brother Vince (and sometimes his friends, wink-wink). Closest I ever came to an injury was burning my mouth on a bowl of my Grandma’s seafood gumbo.
In nursing school I got a whole different education in exercise that involved weightlifting – lifting patients, lifting more patients and when we were done, lifting even more patients. At 5′ 2 ½”, 110lbs I was hardly Arnold. No training could really prepare me to lift and/or turn patients twice my size. The result? Nursing school turned out to be more hazardous than a childhood of physical activity! It was in the hospital that I strained my back trying to lift and turn a patient. Being the good old days I was prescribed a period of bed rest and, of course, Darvon. I remember telling my nursing student peers, “what a worthless drug it was despite all the hype.” Obviously I’m not much of a drugstore cowgirl. All it did was make me feel fuzzy – it didn’t touch my back pain.
An FDA advisory committee recently recommended a ban on Darvon, Darvocet and their generics, notably after they have been in use for more than 50 years (check out the presentations from the meeting). According to the testimony, Darvon and Darvocet have been associated with over 10,000 confirmed deaths and 2,110 reported accidental deaths in the United States, and the risk of death, overdose, addiction and life-threatening side effects, outweighs the minimal benefits provided by these drugs over other available painkillers.
The committee’s recommendation is nonbinding on the FDA which has 90 days to act on it and either pull the drug from the market or let it go on killing people. Hard to believe but, yes, a drug that according to the AMA is less effective than two adult-strength aspirin, kills.
As of the date of this posting I haven’t seen any cases filed yet, but plaintiff attorneys are already advertising for potential clients. This is where you, the savvy Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, come in.
If you are interested in consulting on these potential products liability cases, research the plaintiff attorneys who are advertising for these cases and market yourself to them. Defense firms are a potential market too. There will be plenty of issues for both sides in these cases as the drug is often prescribed to elderly patients, it’s addictive, it doesn’t mix well with other drugs and a good portion of the deaths are suicides.
If you’re looking to get involved in pharmaceutical cases – Darvon will probably be a good starting place. Just do your research and watch your back.
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Comment to share your success with products liability cases involving pharmaceutical drugs.