A reader recently raised a topic as a comment that everyone should have a chance to weigh in on. The comment was made by Morgan on an earlier post titled Topomax recalled: Smells like teen spirit? Not so much.
The comment read:
I see a lot of those ads about lawyers basically telling people they should sue the companies that make anti-convulsants if they have undesired side effects or something. I’ve been wondering about it, but don’t they tell you those things? I mean when they list the possible side effects? What I get out of the commercials is “stop taking this ’cause this might happen to you.” But I wouldn’t think it is safe to completely stop taking your medicine if you are a pregnant epileptic woman…
The Larger Issue
The original post was about the Johnson and Johnson recall and how they delayed in communicating this to the public, particularly those taking the medication. But the comment speaks to larger issues of medication compliance and the factors (including advertising and lawsuits) that hinder compliance.
I think any of us taking anti-convulsants would agree that the medications come part and parcel with “undesired side effects.” It’s just a matter of what you are willing to live with considering there is minimal funding for research and currently no cure.
I also think most would agree that the only time it is safe to stop taking meds is under the supervision of a doctor. If you are pregnant, well, that’s a whole other conversation. Also in extreme situations there has to be a way for patients to protect themselves against the machine that is the pharma industry.
Speak up and be heard
So, I’m curious to think what you all think about this post, lawyer ads, and the topic of compliance.