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While health promotion is important, it's critical to ensure that drugs and surgical devices that will be used by healthy people have no harmful side effects, like Fen-Phen did.
For instance, in the fen-phen litigation, doctors auditing claims submitted to the trust found fifty cases in which "patients had actually suffered moderate or severe aortic valve damage that had gone undiagnosed." (69) Clearly, mass screening's unreliability leads to both over-diagnosing and under-diagnosing.
ALICIA MUNDY is the author of Dispensing With the Truth, about the fen-phen disaster, and a fellow at the New America Foundation.
The irony is that Fen-Phen was never an especially effective drug.
The fact that fen-phen is not on the market now doesn't mean it was a dangerous product at the time.
This article will familiarize readers with the pharmacology, pathophysiology, and legal ramifications pertaining to Fen-Phen.
The famed plaintiffs lawyer was disbarred in Kentucky last month after the state's Supreme Court found him guilty of ethical violations related to a $200 million fen-phen settlement.
Phentermine was part of the "fen-phen" drug combination, a diet medication pulled from the market in 1997 after causing severe heart problems.
A sampling of these cases includes: Fen-phen Diet Drug, Rezulin, Durham Woods Pipe Line Explosion, Talalia v.
Recall that fenfluramine (the "fen" in "fen-phen") was a serotonergic agent that caused cardiac valvulopathy and was withdrawn from the market.
One of the lessons of the fen-phen (fenfluramine/phentermme) experience is that patients will eagerly line up for an agent that achieves 12%-14% weight loss.
The section of the brain affected by the drug is part of the same complex of receptors targeted by fenfluramine, an ingredient in Wyeth's fen-phen drug combination that was pulled from the U.S.