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Press Release

New AAJ Report Examines the History of Women’s Exposure to Dangerous Drugs and Devices

May 22,2017

Washington, DC—Women are disproportionately exposed to dangerous drugs and medical devices that tear them apart from the inside out, according to a report released today by the American Association for Justice (AAJ). From Accutane to Zonite: A History of Dangerous Drugs & Devices Marketed to Women profiles some of the most harmful medical products that have been marketed to women and highlights the important role the civil justice system has played as a backstop to enhance safety standards when regulations and all other safeguards fail.

Even today, women suffer from serious injuries and death after being treated with dangerous drugs and devices, such as Yaz, Essure, and vaginal mesh. However, mounting tragedies haven’t been enough to compel manufactures to pull their dangerous products from the market. But empowered by the courts, women have been able to publicly expose dangerous medical products and corporate wrongdoing – forcing recalls, enhancing warnings, and saving lives.

“This timely report sheds light on the disturbing ways women have been preyed upon by corporations in the name of profit,” said Julie Braman Kane, President of AAJ. “More than a century of gender inequality in research and unhindered corporate greed continue to put women at risk of exposure to dangerous drugs and medical devices. We must protect women’s access to justice to ensure they can end their silent suffering and hold corporations accountable when corporations refuse to put Americans’ safety first.”

Yet, legislation currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, the misnamed “Protecting Access to Care Act” (H.R. 1215), puts women’s health at greater risk. The bill doesn’t improve patient protections, but instead denies patients who are injured or killed by even the intentional acts of a health care provider access to justice and the courts. Women who have suffered serious injury would be further victimized by a provision in the bill that would grant blanket immunity to health care providers who prescribe a drug or device that was at any point approved by the Food and Drug Administration – even if that drug or device has since been proven to be dangerous.

Kane added, “Congress should be ashamed of masquerading corporate handouts as patient protections. This vengeful legislation severs Americans’ access to the courts, impedes state laws, and protects only those drug and device manufacturers and health care providers that cause our loved ones harm.”

Click here to download the report.

Sammi Swing
Phone: 202-944-2806