When it was discovered that Yaz Birth Control had more side effects than was initially advertised (leading to some deaths), the company was sued in dozens of states. A similar problem occurred with Neurontin, a drug created to soothe nerve pain. Rather than focus on research, development, and effective testing for the product, the test results were manipulated in order to sell the product to the public quickly.

These Cases Are, Unfortunately, Not Big Surprises.

Big Pharmaceutical manufacturerAfter all, big Pharmaceutical Companies emphasize advertising and marketing more than the actual research of the products they produce. A 2008 study found that the entire pharmaceutical industry spends as much as twice the amount of money on advertising and marketing that it does on research and development.

In 2004, the pharmaceutical industry spent 24.7% of every “sales dollar” on marketing and advertising and only 13.4% on research. Those statistics suggest it’s not just one bad apple ruining the whole batch. The marketing machine is very real, and it is industry-wide.

The Important Thing to Remember is that You Can Make a Difference. Here’s How:

woman meeting with personal doctorFirst, it’s always important to do your own independent research on any drug you’re thinking of taking. Research the side effects, talk to your doctor, and don’t take anything that isn’t over-the-counter or prescribed.

Second, always be sure to keep the law on your side. In the case of Yaz birth control, people in dozens of states filed lawsuits against the company to not only receive their fair compensation, but also bring light to the Marketing Machine of Big Pharmaceutical.