Risk News Analysis Essay Example

RISK NEWS ANALYSIS

Risk News Analysis

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02, 04, 2011

Risk News Analysis

Roaccutane is a prescription drug which is given to patients who have very severe cases of acute acne, a condition which causes painful red rushes to appear all over the skin of a patient.

This drug is manufactured by a pharmaceutical giant Hoffman La Roche and has been making so much cash due to high rates of drug prescriptions but that has been on the decline basically because users have been experiencing very severe side effects associated with Roaccutane. Since this drug was found out to have so many severe side effects which includes miscarriages, depression, liver damage among other major ailments, users were required to sign a consent form to the effect that they understood what they were into and they were given a detailed medication guide for their reading (Bryman 2006).

SUICIDES EMANATING FROM USING ROACCUTANE

Roaccutane has been linked to suicide many times among some patients who were still using the drug. This is because it causes mental health issues and depression, a condition which leads to a person keeping to him/ herself and not consulting or talking about the various challenges he/ she is facing and this ultimately ends in suicide (White 2001).

ROLE PLAYED BY MEDIA TO ACCELERATE ACCUTANE LAWSUITS

The media has gone a notch higher when it comes to creating sensitivity awareness to the public about the various side effects of Roaccutane drug.

Usually, there the many cases brought through the media which will not have been known by potential buyers were it not for news reporters broadcasting the various cases they receive about Roaccutane. The media did stress a lot about this case and gave a detailed account of similar reported and non-reported cases where Roaccutane drug was used by people suffering from acute acne and caused them severe damage. This on its own showed that the drug (Roaccutane) was responsible for the suicides among users, even if the users could have been experiencing other problems which could lead to depression. This shows that the media acted as the jury and gave its own verdict that these drugs were actually not fit for human use and ought not to be used for curing acne. One the other hand, most people tend to learn more from the news as they actually watch what fellow human beings have experienced as a result of using the said drug. Most users in return will tend to use an alternative drug of which they don’t know much of its side effects. In the current suicide case, media had played the role of being an educator, a judge and an advisor giving fully all the information available about Roaccutane but emphasis was on the negative aspects which included the suicide accounts recorded as well as terminated pregnancies and mental disorders among victims. Since the media got involved in this case, there was never going to be a fair trial as media had put in the minds of people that using Roaccutane will cause suicide and this will stick to minds of people for a long time (Turkel 1996).

HOW THE ROACCUTANE SUICIDE CASE IN AUSTRALIA WAS PORTRAYED TO THE PUBLIC

The media did convince the general public that the suicide was because of using Roaccutane. It further explained the various side effects of this disease which includes depression and it gave a verdict of the possibility of the patient having died because of this multiple complications.

The media gave various accounts of past similar cases of suicide and many complications of this drug which included miscarriage and this on its own proved the defendants guilty that their drug was solely responsible for the suicide of the young girl. Of course there was no room for the defendant to come in the open and prove that Roaccutane was not responsible for the many suicides and the specific one on trial given the way the media had given its evidence by trying to downsize the whole affair.

The media ignored the aspects of risk issue by not waiting for fair trial.

The risk issues are the damage which the media caused by giving all the side effects of using Roaccutane despite the fact that the drug is very effective to more than 98% of the users. This will translate to more potential users looking for alternative drugs to cater for acne ailments (Dijk 2000).

COMMON MEDIA TACTICS PLAYED IN ROACCUTANE CASES

Usually the media is supposed to give a true story about the succession of events which led to the occurrence of a certain act. The advent of a free media though restricts somehow reprimanding of the media on certain aspects whereby there is need for clarification of events. There should be a comprehensive report attached which is signed by a qualified medical practitioner, which gives an account of events as they transpired and what led to the suicide in the current scenario. The media does not wait for this but just gives its own stories based on what has happened previously with other users.

THE PUBLIC NEEDS EDUCATION ON ROACCUTANE INJURIES

The general public got a very bad image of using Roaccutane in that they were meant to believe that it causes depression which leads to suicide. The media put in a picture that there is need to take caution and watch on those who are under this medication for any change in behavior and provide further treatment accordingly. The media expects that there should be no death resulting from usage of prescribed drugs but that is not the issue always as sometimes death could arise from so many underlying factors. Under such circumstances, the media will not try to come up with statistics to prove well treated cases versus treated cases which have gone wrong (Bryman & Bell 2007).

IMAGES CREATED TO THE PUBLIC ABOUT USAGE OF ROACCUTANE

The public will always link Roaccutane to suicides among other injuries. This is because the public always see as if the media is always right and at all times will be representing their rights.

Media has been regarded as an educative tool to the public and as well it has been giving the public information about well kept secrets of some organizations which could directly or indirectly affect individual’s standard of living. This is why always the media is the best judge of the public and whatever media regards as bad, the public will regard it as bad without further analysis.

Thus, to the public, Roaccutane is not a good drug and will be associated with death and this verdict is given by the media reports and this holds, no matter what the company will do, including getting a ruling on their side to favour ROCHE, still not many people will go back to using this drug.

There will be an influx of lawsuits concerning disadvantages and side effects resulting from usage of this Roaccutane even though most may not be justified or proven by doctors as true. Users who are currently on medication will halt their dosage on Roaccutane and will instead go for other drugs offering same cure but have less or no known side effects.

Roaccutane has been in use for a while but some complications associated with it includes:

There is the risk of permanent and/ or temporary hearing on the victim, impaired night vision where the victim will see blurred images, muscles become weak and will ache a lot, tiredness and fatigue at all times, prolonged healing capabilities, change of bone marrow structure such that composition of white and red blood cells change in such a way that body defense mechanism is affected, bleeding in the rectum, inflammation in the bowels (most severely reported case for most users with Roaccutane side effects) liver damage at whatever age, Crohn’s disease, depression when one finds the cure not effective hence leads to seclusion (this depression is not because of using the drug parse but because the drug is in-effective to some users hence they retract to themselves and could easily do some unwarranted actions like committing suicide), there is the issue of reported birth defects associated with Roaccutane and miscarriages. In fact, pregnant women or those aspiring to become mothers are advised to keep away from using this drug because of the risk of miscarriage or giving birth to a deformed baby.

Users as well have reported quite a number of premature births among those who used the drug just before pregnancy or those who used it while pregnant due to ignorance (pharmacists have been warned not to sell this drug to pregnant women even if they convince the pharmacist that they are buying it for the use of other people). Some reported cases of using Roaccutane have resulted to users exhibiting high levels of cholesterol in the body which has led to the inability of the body to breakdown unwanted fats, partly caused by liver damage while others have developed allergic reactions to the drug.

There is nose bleeding which is as a result of users developing very dry nasal passages (nasal passages are always moist and warm so as to help warm the air we breathe in from the environment). Some users have experienced very dry skin after they stopped using this drug; others have developed frequent headaches dry lips and dry eyes.

Because of all these side effects being shown to the public and media made no effort to address the sole advantage of cure for acne to majority of the users, this drug has been portrayed as a death trap or as a hazard in the society for those who develop complications.

The media only assisted to stress Roaccutane side effects more especially those related to miscarriages and suicide. This however is clarified on the label of the drug where it is clearly indicated ‘not to be taken by pregnant women or those aspiring to become pregnant’.

Roaccutane as a drug is very effective to many users and this is what prompts almost everyone with severe acne to use it. Pregnant women who can clearly read the warning signs on the packets have been using the drug and the trend is on the increase. This has resulted to 1000s of lawsuits per year against ROCHE for giving a drug with severe side effects to the public (Bryman 2007).

SUICIDES RESULTING FROM PROPER USE OF ROACCUTANE

The media created public awareness on the suicide risk after the Congressman for Michigan’s son committed suicide while still using Roaccutane. These suicides are as a result of very serious mental disorders diagnosed among some users and these disorders are the ones which prompt them to commit suicide. From the case in hand, the media has clearly educated users to file for lawsuits due to injuries related to use of Roaccutane or they can file lawsuits for injury to people related to them, if such injuries have resulted from use of Roaccutane (Conk 2002).

CLAIMING FOR DAMAGES ON ROACCUTANE INJURIES

From this lawsuit, ROCHE had very experienced lawyers who did all they could to dissociate Roaccutane from the suicide of the young lady. The media advised the public to always choose the best lawyers who have handled Roaccutane lawsuits or those who have experience in handling lawsuits due to damage on individuals as a result of using medicine. The lawyer you pick should have references to contact quickly so as to help with compensation. An experienced lawyer is good for you since ROCHE has handled so many similar claims and so the company lawyers can easily do away with your claim if your lawyers are not experienced in handling such claims (Dijk 1998b).

A lawyer can always weigh chances of success or defeat in a Roaccutane lawsuit This will be determined by your cooperation with the lawyer in terms of providing relevant information as to how long you have been using Roaccutane, the type of injury you suffered and if you were using Roaccutane at the time of the injury, and if you went for further treatment on the injuries resulting from using this drug.

Your lawyer will ask for more relevant information regarding your case and will always advice you if out of court settlement is good for you once offered by ROCHE or if you should go for trial. Usually the company has made it clear on its labels of the chances of contracting injuries associated with treatment of acne and that includes a label on risk of inflammatory bowel disease.

There was a recall of all unsold Roaccutane in USA in 2009 by ROCHE and this was prompted by the large number of lawsuits from the use of its drug. The reason for the recall was because of the large cost of defending itself against accusations and even penalties for the damages suffered by individuals were high.

The media brought to the attention the issue of health warning being issued by health authorities in Canada whereby they said there were sixty six reported cased of severe skin irritation resulting from Roaccutane usage in 2009 and two of the victims died from the condition. In these cases, there were lawsuits and some progressed well but others didn’t and this was as a result of the tactics used by the lawyers while addressing the cases.

The lawyers here explained the condition of the victims which included severe rashes on the skin, boils, victims were burning in their skin from inside outwards, and eventually the skin separated from the inner skin layers. This condition was always referred to the high dependence unit or the burns unit where the patients were given very close attention to address their dilemma. When a lawyer clearly brought this issue to the jury, chances of a fair trial are expected and this is what media has helped victims to get when addressing issues of lawsuits (Bryman 2008).

The public will at all time trust the media for news coverage on Roaccutane injuries among other injuries. In this case, all effort was made to enlighten the public about the various side effects of Roaccutane and alternative drugs were listed of which very little was known about their side effects though they were not so efficient in curing acne.

Viewers were given knowledge on how to handle cases resulting from injury while on medication and were advised not to keep silent about it but rather call for justice.

Media has given education that drugs though good for our health, sometimes they can turn out to be death zones and they will inflict injuries of which are irreversible. The media has put forward cases to the effect that no matter the cause of injury as in whether the injured person read the prescription or not, ROCHE ought to take liability since the victim was on medication with one of its products.

As a matter of fact, drugs are presumed to provide cure to patients and should not subject the said patients to more agony as long as the patients do stick to the usage prescriptions.

The patient though has an option to use the drugs or choose drugs from a different manufacturer but always most people go for what they hear gives the best cure. By ROCHE availing Roaccutane for sale, the company has good intentions in mind that the product will be of good use to consumers and will not cause any harm. However, as the manufacturer of the said drug, the company needs to be aware that some body cells may react negatively to the drug and this is what has caused the few reported cases with the said effects discussed earlier which could lead to depression or even suicide just like the case on hand. The company may absolve itself from liability but due to the fact that the drugs are still available on the shelves for sale, then the company needs to compensate the few victims of Roaccutane use (Krause 1992).

ROCHE has a team of well trained lawyers who try to distance the company from liability from consumption of Roaccutane but then assuming all patients with severe acne go for alternative drugs, then Roaccutane will not be bought at all.

There is a problem though in that the side effects from the drug use are a few reported cases but damages awarded per case could rake away from the company several million dollars. This can easily drain off the company profits from this line of manufacture.

From this point of argument ROCHE may not be in business if all that it produces will go into settlement of claims and that is why the company resorts to using disclaimers and layers and even recall products like the case of USA so as to pay very little in terms of already reported cases but no new injuries will arise.

As a product user, one needs to read carefully and understand all the advantages and disadvantages (side effects) of using this drug. As advised, the user should discontinue usage immediately side effects occur and consult a registered medical practitioner for further treatment on the new injuries.

Always we go for medicine with good intentions of getting well quickly. Sometimes, this does not happen and something could go wrong within our bodies and may not be diagnosed fast enough so as to prevent big damages to the user of the drugs. Such cases needs special attention for the medical bills could be high for most families and in most cases the affected individuals end up being dependants since they are rendered useless in doing heavy tasks. In my opinion, such cases ought to be given priority in terms of compensation but if the jury can comfortably relate an incident with an injury for instance if a pregnant woman who knows very well side effects of Roaccutane but decides to use it due to the compensation anticipated after the injury, such cases should be punished by the jury.

REFERENCES

Bryman, A. 2006, ‘Integrating quantitative and qualitative research: how is it done?’, Qualitative Research, vol.6, pp.97-113.

Bryman, A 2007, ‘Barriers to Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Research’, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 8-22.

Bryman, A & Bell, E 2007, Business Research Methods, Oxford University Press Inc, New York, pp.301-323.

Bryman, A 2008, ‘Of methods and methodology’, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 3, no. 2, pp.159-168.

Conk, WG 2002, The True Test: Alternative Safer Designs for Drugs and Medical Devices in a Patent Constrained Market, Fordham Law School Studies Research Paper No. 101

Dijk, TA 1998b, Towards a theory of context and experience models in processing: The Construction of Mental Models During Reading, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.

Dijk, TAV 2000, 18 Critical Discourse Analysis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- School of Law, London.

Krause, JH 1992, Accutane: Has Drug Regulation in the United States Reached its Limits? University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- School of Law, London.

Turkel, G 1996, Law and Society: Critical Approaches, Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.

White, A 2001, Thalidomide and the FDA: Authority Overstepped or Legitimate Safety Measures?, Independent Lawyer, New York.