Severity of Biologics

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Biologics, a short term for biological medication, are typically prescribed to nurse autoimmune skin diseases, joints, and gastrointestinal system. They are one of the few drugs that are not made chemically, but instead are extracted from animal cells in laboratories. They are also given by either injection or IV. These drugs can cost up to more than $40,000 a year and are very established in the market. However, these biologic drugs tend to cause many severe issues to consumer's health, maybe more serious than prior to taking the drug. A list of common biologics are Remicade, Humira, Enbrel, Siliq, and Cimzia.

Recent studies show that these biologics are linked to over 34,000 deaths. As stated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fungal infections known as histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, mucormycosis, coccidioidomycosis, and sepsis are factors behind the increase of hospitalizations in which between 5% and 20% involved death. These fungal infections come from the usage of these biologics. Additionally, recent studies on three of the biologic drugs, Remicade, Humira, and Siliq, tend to show the seriousness of such side effects and that the potential risks to patients outweigh the expected benefits.

For instance, Helen Tschannen, a 77-year-old woman, started taking Remicade to treat her rheumatoid arthritis. As months went by, she started to experience kidney and liver failure and even reached a temperature of 106-degrees. Sadly, she ended up dying due to her conditions, and the family learned that she had suffered from the fungal infection, histoplasmosis. Furthermore, studies show that the biologic drug, Siliq, was typically used to treat psoriasis, but has contributed to an increase in the risk of suicide. Among the 6,200 people who have participated in studies relating to this biologic, 34 people have shown signs of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Recent data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration show that there have been 108 undesirable experiences related to the drug, two including deaths.

Moreover, Ali Wilson, a woman from Tampa, Florida, went on Humira to treat her rheumatoid arthritis. About two weeks later, she ended up in the ER with severe joint pain, a temperature of 101, and was vomiting and shaking. When checking for her pulse, paramedics could barely feel for it. She has recovered since then, but the biologic drug had weakened her immune system and allowed the infection of sepsis to enter into her body, leaving her in the hospital for nine days and in the intensive care unit for four of the days.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by a medication, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.

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