Popular Gout Medication Uloric Linked To Increase Risk Of Death

You know, every so often we get new reports
coming out about yet another dangerous pharmaceutical on the market, a pharmaceutical basically
that also shouldn’t exist because there’s already decent generic, cheaper alternatives
available. But Big Pharma always wants to turn an additional
profits. So they always keep coming out with brand
new drugs to treat the same old things they’ve already been treating for 40 or 50 years. And that’s the case with a drug called Uloric
that’s been on the market now for just slightly over 10 years. And we’re starting to find out now that it
has very serious cardiovascular dangers that actually might include death. Joining me now to talk about what we know
about this drug Uloric, is attorney Wesley Bowden. Wes, Uloric used to treat gout. That’s right. Gout is actually fairly more common than most
people think. It’s not something we typically think about. Gout, you know, is a, a disease that existed
a long time ago, but it’s still around. It’s a very painful form of arthritis. So, you’ve got drug companies come out and
say, hey, we’ve got this great new drug Uloric. You’ve been depending on this generic version
for 50 years, try our new drug because it’s, it’s just, it’s better isn’t it? It’s, it’s always just better. Right. Yeah, so and Gout is a, is a, is a more prominent
disease and most people would realize, but it’s also a very manageable disease. And historically there have been medications
that are very effective in treating gout that have been on the market for literally decades. So what we have here is Uloric, is a, manufacturers
come into the market and say, we see a way that we can make money by selling are much
more expensive drug. And what they did was when they took this
drug to market, they added some warnings. But the warnings weren’t in line with what
the real world feedback was. And so as of about 30, 60 days ago, the FDA
has required increased warnings for Uloric. Much stronger warnings than what are currently
in place for the generics. So what kind of additional warnings are we
now going to have on this particular medication? So on this medication, the FDA, based on data
they got from the company and from treating physicians throughout the country, what was
required to happen is that as they see adverse events, they have to report them to the FDA. And these adverse events started piling up
and piling up and piling up, eventually the FDA said, we might have a problem here. We need to take a closer look. When they took that closer look, they found
that Uloric specifically had an increased risk of cardiovascular related death as compared
to the generics. Because of that, they’ve required that Uloric
add a new warning, advising patients, advising doctors that this drug has a higher risk profile
than the other medications. And just as importantly, they said, don’t
give this drug to your patients unless a generic does not work, which is really a rare warning
to add to, to any sort of pharmaceutical product. It’s almost like the warning is telling doctors
don’t describe, prescribed this drug unless it’s 100% necessary. You know, you’ve been handling these cases
for a long time. I’ve been talking about these stories for
years now. I don’t know that I’ve seen that yet. The FDA actually telling doctors, do not give
this to people unless it’s your last resort. To me that says a lot. And you know, for a lot of people you’re going
to do just fine on the generic. Right. But as we have said so often, the pharmaceutical
companies come in, they see any market out there, whatever it is, and they say, those
aren’t patients, those are profits. That’s money sitting on the table out there. So let’s come up with this drug that’s slightly
different from the generic, different enough to get us a new patent for it. That’s right. Which lasts 10 to 20 years, and we’re the
only industrialized country that, that does that. That grants these decades long patents before
generics can come out. But we already had their generic, this was
100% unnecessary. And that’s, that’s what I think people need
to understand. Not only could it kill you according to the
adverse event reports, it wasn’t even a necessity. It’s more expensive. All around, we’re talking about something
very dangerous that consumers need to be aware of. And that, as you pointed out, up until 30,
60 days ago, they didn’t know about this. But this thing got approved for the market
for release in February of 2009. That’s 10 years of people taking this, not
knowing that this was a possibility. That’s right. Yeah and there’s a very small percentage of
people for which the generics do not work. But of course that’s not the way they’ve marketed
and sold this drug. They’ve sold the drug as the latest and greatest,
the most up-to-date drug that you can have for gout medication. We know that the other generics are, they
work, they’re cheap, they’re affordable, they’re widely available. What this company has done is they’ve tried
to make a market where there wasn’t a need. And so as a result of that, the FDA has taken
action to curtail that. And anyone who’s taking this drug, I would
encourage them to talk with their doctors and see if that’s the right medication for
them. You know, and Mike Papantonio frequently likes
to say, don’t take a drug unless it’s been on the market for 20 years or more. Good advice. Because, you know, these, these pharmaceuticals,
it’s not like the latest cell phone that comes out once a year. It’s not better, more improved. Some of these carry very serious risks, and
in the case of pharmaceuticals, newer does not necessarily always mean better. Wesley Bowden, I appreciate you taking the
time to talk to me today. Thanks for having me.