Originally published October 16 2015
Judge OKs case against drug makers after Advil left teenager horrifically disfigured and disabled
by Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) A federal judge has ruled that a negligence lawsuit may be filed against drug manufacturers Pfizer and Wyeth by a man who was horribly left disfigured after a severe adverse reaction to the painkiller Advil.
Lamar Hodges, Jr., was 16 years old at the time the incident occurred in 2010. His condition was caused by a rare reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). The syndrome is a form of toxic epidermal necrolysis which typically affects children or African Americans.
Hodges, a black teenager, was admitted to a Minnesota hospital on June 28, 2010, when he began having difficulties swallowing due to a sore throat. This was shortly after he started taking Advil.
He then developed a facial rash with pustules that turned into lesions which spread to his neck, torso, arms and legs. Once the blisters began to cover roughly 35 percent of Hodges' body, he was transferred to Regions Hospital Burn Center in St. Paul.
The teen's condition continued to worsen, with the lesions and blisters "allegedly" reaching his fingers. According to reports, most of Hodges' skin had begun sloughing off by July 7, when he underwent the first of many eventual surgeries.
During the first surgical procedure, dead tissue was removed from various parts of his body. Later surgeries left the teen with permanent scarring and "essentially no intact skin on his face, neck, scalp, trunk, back, buttocks, arms, and legs," according to a report posted by Courthouse News Service.
But it gets even worse. Apparently, doctors were forced to sew Hodges' eyelids shut to "lessen scar tissue" and to save what eyesight he had left after the condition ravaged his entire body.
Hodges was left permanently disfigured. Now, four years later, he has been given the chance to file a lawsuit against Pfizer Inc., Wyeth LLC and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare Inc., the makers of Advil (Pfizer bought Wyeth in 2009).
Parts of Hodges' original complaint have been tossed by U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery, but due to his "'undeniably horrific' condition," he will be allowed to sue for negligence based on his claim that the companies "knowingly failed to inform consumers about the increased risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in children and African Americans who take Advil."
If the allegations against the companies are indeed true -- that they knowingly withheld the information from consumers -- it only seems fair that Hodges should receive adequate compensation, particularly in light of the fact that Pfizer reportedly brought in nearly $50 billion in revenue last year.
This seems to be yet another case of Big Pharma putting profits ahead of any real concern for human beings. No matter how rare the occurrence of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome may be, the companies involved obviously had a responsibility to inform consumers of the danger.
It is doubtful that any amount of money would be sufficient to make up for the agony that this young man has already endured, not to mention the fact that his entire body is now scarred for life.
The case also serves to illustrate the fact that natural remedies are by far preferable to manufactured drugs that nearly always have the potential for dangerous side effects and adverse reactions among some who use them.
Even over-the-counter drugs such as Advil, which are generally considered safe by most consumers, can cause terrible reactions for some who use them. Although pharmaceuticals may prove to be beneficial or even necessary in some cases, it's almost always a better idea to treat illnesses with natural remedies whenever possible.
Too often, the dangers are played down by the makers of these pharmaceuticals or, as in this case, the public may receive no warnings at all of potential adverse reactions or side effects.
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