Balance In Public Knowledge On Drugs & Medical Devices
Attorney advertisements are most prevalent in the space of product liability, where manufacturers can be held accountable for allowing unreasonably dangerous goods to hurt consumers. Pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices receive the most attention, often because their potential harms are so great. Few drug manufacturers, however, are ready to admit that their products may cause more harm than good – even in the face of medical evidence to the contrary.
In fact, pharmaceutical companies routinely stress the benefits of their products, while minimizing the risks. FDA regulatory actions support this view, according to an analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine. Between 1997 and 2006, nearly 84% of the regulatory warnings set out to drug marketers by the FDA cited advertisements for either downplaying safety issues or embellishing benefits. In this context, attorney advertisements, which only serve to highlight the known and potential side effects of existing pharmaceuticals and medical devices, may have a necessary role, adding balance to what, otherwise, would be an imbalanced public discourse on health products.
Spreading Awareness Of Recalled Consumer Products
Where consumer goods are concerned, the social benefits of attorney marketing are hard to dispute. Recalled products are recalled for a reason, after all. Takata’s massive airbag recall is an illustrative example. While the Japanese auto parts manufacturer and nearly two dozen car companies have now recalled around 49 million vehicles, millions of drivers remain unaware that their own car may be installed with a deadly airbag.
Takata has a long history of delaying necessary recalls, according to the New York Times. While car owners are now receiving personal notifications, even these safety measures have stalled due to the recall’s unprecedented scope. The most recent recall, for example, issued by BMW on February 6, 2017, is expected to cover 230,117 vehicles in the US. Around 1% of these cars could have been installed with a defective Takata airbag during routine servicing, Car and Driver reports. Owners, however, won’t be receiving notifications until sometime in March.
In this context, car manufacturers need all the help they can get. Likewise, consumers should receive all the warnings they deserve. In many cases, attorney advertising fills the gap – a rift often left open by obstructive manufacturers and cash-strapped government safety regulators.