“Dallas Buyers Club” Underscores Problems in Drug Approval Process

by Staff Blogger | February 11th, 2014

February 11, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with the job of evaluating drug safety and approving medications to be used by patients in the United States. The Drug Injury Attorneys with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain that some drugs are approved based on legal loopholes while more helpful medications may be overlooked.

This is an underlying theme in the film Dallas Buyers Club. The movie tells the true story of Ron Woodruff, an electrician living with AIDS/HIV during the mid-1980’s. The character is told by doctors he only has one month to live, which sets him on a course to find a medication that can save his life. He finds drugs and supplements that help alleviate the symptoms of his condition, but he is unable to get the products in the United States because they are not FDA approved. Woodruff smuggles the compounds back to the United States in bulk, so he can distribute them to other patients. Rather than sell the supplements and medications, he uses a membership system that grants free access to the drugs and allows him to avoid criminal prosecution.

The drugs and supplements were not approved by the FDA because of high costs and because drug manufacturing companies were attempting to push another medication through the approval process. In fact, the film shows where trials determine too much of the manufacturer’s drug is lethal to patients, unlike the medications supplied by Woodruff .

Unfortunately, the FDA’s failure to approve the treatment likely cost many lives, and the attorneys with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough feel action should be taken to ensure United States citizens have access to the safest and best drugs in the world.