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We have all seen these ads from Lawyers aimed at attracting Prescription Drug Users Clients:

“Have you or a loved one been prescribed the blood thinner Xarelto as a treatment for reducing the risk of stroke?” then the ad continues detailing possible side effects from the drug and potential compensation. The ad ends with “Remember, these drugs are linked to serious and potentially fatal health problems, including serious and sometimes fatal internal bleeding.”…. “Call for more information and a free case review.”

Or the Spam e-mails that are sent out by the millions:

Xarelto Users, Read This! Free Legal Review and Potential Compensation 

The AMA voiced concern about this last year at their Annual AMA Meeting.   The AMA was concerned that these ads could cause more harm than good by scaring patients into stopping using their medications.  The AMA was looking for disclaimers in the ads to have patients contact their doctors prior to discontinuing their medications.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal Article, Rep Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wants the ads to also include a warning that patients should talk with their doctors before adjusting medications.  Representative Goodlatte sent letters to state and national bar associations last month calling on more regulation of these ads. 

The letters cite a recent review of safety reports to the Food and Drug Administration, conducted by J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals business, that identified 28 cases of strokes and other serious side effects, including two deaths, of patients who health-care professionals say stopped using Xarelto after watching TV ads.

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