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Jeanie Oliver
Jeanie Oliver
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Duragesic-Fentanyl Patches Cause Overdoses and Death

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Medicine should relieve our pain or enable us to live better lives. In the case of Johnson and Johnson’s Duragesic pain patch, death and life-threatening conditions have been the unfortunate effect on patient’s lives. Before I talk about the details in these cases, let me put one fact out there: Duragesic generated $l.29 billion in global sales last year.

This makes it Johnson and Johnson’s 6th best-selling product.

The patch relieves pain by a transdermal transfer of the pain medicine called fentanyl. If the edges of the patch are not correctly sealed, then deadly amounts of fentanyl, a medication stronger than morphine, are leaked directly onto the skin. This causes an overdose of a powerful medicine that was suppose to be issued into the body in a controlled dose.

This patch as resulted in at least 120 deaths. It has been very difficult for the FDA to accurately track the number of deaths caused by the drug because it is often worn by patients with cancer. The FDA has issued numerous recalls of the patches because of the danger of leaking. The patches continue to be produced despite Johnson and Johnson agreeing to settle a wrongful death suit in Florida. Hundreds of wrongful death suits are still pending.

Bloomberg News reports that as many as 300 to 400 overdose cases because the patches leaked fentanyl have been filed. This brings me back to my opening statements about the amount of money that Duragesic makes for the Johnson and Johnson family of companies; obviously enough to overcome any twinges of conscious on the part of this powerful company’s decision makers.