Newly revealed dangers of Actemra
Until STAT News published a devastating review of Actemra in June 2017, most patients taking the rheumatoid arthritis drug thought it was a miraculous treatment. Actemra’s manufacturer claimed, when it was approved by the FDA in 2010, that it had none of the side effects of Humira, Remicade and Enbrel, Actemra’s major competitors.
Subsequent tests show that it does have those side effects, according to STAT’s article: “Failure to warn: Hundreds died while taking arthritis drug, but nobody alerted patients.”
Actemra can cause heart failure, pancreatitis, heart attacks, strokes, interstitial lung disease, heart palpitations and hair loss and memory lapses. Actemra’s label makes no mention of these potentially life-threatening side effects. Neither does the FDA’s website, although it does warn against the developing serious infections while taking Actemra.
A STAT News analysis of 500,000 cases of serious side effects caused by Actemra and its competitors showed that Actemra had “…higher than expected numbers of several serious problems…”
“Experts who examined the data …said the FDA should immediately consider warnings for heart failure and pancreatitis.” Acute pancreatitis kills “up to 50 percent of patients,” according to these medical professionals. They also said “evidence” of Actemra’s association with heart attacks, strokes and interstitial lung disease “warrants further review.”
The story of this arthritis drug “cover up” is not unprecedented, given the approval and monitoring process of the FDA. It has a number of defects that can put the public at risk.
- The FDA can order the recall of a drug but only does so “ in rare cases.”
- The FDA’s website states that drug companies run the tests of drugs they want approved and then send the FDA evidence that the drugs are “safe effective.”
- As The Washington Post reported in 2012, that lets companies “design research that makes their products look better,” obscuring “dangerous side effects.”
- Drug companies bear most of the responsibility for reporting side effects to the FDA that appear after a drug is on the market.
Wayne Wright posts STAT’s information to protect you
People with rheumatoid arthritis or those with the 60 other conditions for which Actemra is prescribed off label are entitled to the facts about this drug. Anyone who developed one of Actemra’s disturbing side effects can turn to Wayne Wright. Wayne Wright is one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, according to the American Trial Lawyers Association. For 40 years, he has fought successfully to help those who have suffered because a drug company used loopholes in the FDA’s approval process to market a dangerous drug. Calls and evaluations are free. Clients only pay fees, agreed on in advance, after their case is won.