The pharmaceutical industry has been pushing several new “blockbuster” drugs that they say can help people lose weight fast, and like other treatments we’ve seen over the years, these promises come with a price. Patients are now reporting cases of stomach paralysis after taking drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, and there could be more reports on the way. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The pharmaceutical industry has been pushing several new blockbuster drugs that they say can help people lose weight fast. And like other treatments we’ve seen over the years, these promises come with a price and that is death and really serious injury. Patients are now reporting cases of stomach paralysis over taking drugs like Ozempic. And there could be more reports on the way. We’ve been watching, our law firm’s been watching this case pretty closely. The, you know, we handled the Fen-Phen case which is literally thousands of women died from this Fen-Phen drug. We handled the opioid case where tens of thousands of people died. And it all came down to one thing, just like we’re seeing here, doctors are not telling these patients the dangers of this product. Saw it with, saw it with, just finished, I just basically have finished the opioid litigation. The last part of it’s still in the works. But what we found there is doctors did not, they didn’t stay up to speed with the literature. They got busy and they couldn’t see that all this nonsense that they were told from the beginning was just a lie. Same thing here. Same thing with Fen-Phen. I’ve handled 87 major drug litigations in this country, 87. Every time I’ve seen it, it’s because somebody’s lied on clinical data, management has overlooked bad clinical data. They’ve done a computation, Farron, here it is. We’re making $10 billion. If we kill this many people, it’s only gonna cost us $2 billion. So we’re $8 billion ahead. That is what we call the ghoul transition. The ghoul calculation. That’s what’s happening here, I promise you.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And with BP it was the three little pigs, was the scenario they used. So what we’ve got here is Ozempic, Wegovy, massive report comes out saying these women are now reporting stomach paralysis. Several of them have been officially diagnosed. Some have not yet been. But what it does is these drugs that are originally, Ozempic specifically for diabetes, and it did well with diabetes. But then the company started noticing, well, wait a minute. These folks are losing weight. That’s a good thing. Okay. Maybe instead of just a diabetes blockbuster, we may have ourselves a weight loss blockbuster. Weight loss drugs are the holy grail of the pharmaceutical industry. If you can make a medicine that can make people lose weight without killing them or hurting them, that’s their holy grail.

Mike Papantonio: If you go, people watching this show right now, if you go and you ask 10 women, are you taking Ozempic? If they tell you the truth, three of ’em are gonna be taking Ozempic. If they’re trying to lose weight. It is just so ubiquitous. And what, look, doctors understand, doctors are, it’s all about immediate result. Right. You’re overweight. Okay. Mary, well, take Ozempic. Well, why don’t you look into what the science is on this? It’s bad science from the very beginning. You know, you’ve got this, it’s called GLP-1. I think it is. It’s a hormone that’s in the body and what it does is it tells your body to slow down digestion because if you don’t slow it down, you won’t get the nutrients you need out of the food. Right. So what this does, what they’ve done is engineered their own manufactured hormone kind of result. And the difference is, when you took a look at it, it’s a best thing I can tell you, this is very clear. They did a placebo test and then they did a test with people, they’re clearly taking Ozempic and took 70 minutes for the digestion process to take place. It took four minutes for the regular digestion to take place. And what it’s causing is paralysis of the gut. It’s causing paralysis of the stomach. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And it’s actually kind of interesting because as per usual, we already see big pharma in the, you know, medical industry. Their PR spin is out there saying, well, you know, these women could have had slow stomachs to begin with. They are already on the front end of this trying to paint it as, yeah, these women already had problems. They were never diagnosed, but they probably had these problems. So we’re already seeing their defense be crafted in the media. But it could be because we’re, you know, this is early. We do not know if there’s a full, you know, cause effect. It could be these women are very unlucky. I mean, that is what one of the doctors said, but it could be this drug is doing it.

Mike Papantonio: Well, look, you can go to any university, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, I don’t care where you go, Georgetown, the most elite universities and you can say to a scientist that’s working there, or a professor that is an expert in a particular area, would you say this for me? Would you please lie to the American public for me? And they’ll say, well, it’s gonna cost you, it’s gonna cost a million to $2 million. That’s typically what they have to end up paying. But then these doctors that are, they’re just charlatans. I mean, they’re frauds. They create this literature and the literature is always based on, we can’t know, understand. That’s their safest position. Well, we don’t really know. There’s not enough information. There’s not enough epidemiology to tell us that this is the problem. And they do that, Farron, because they understand that if they delay the knowledge during the period of time, they’re delaying that knowledge it may be three or four years. The company they’re working for that gave them the million dollars to say that is making billions of dollars. And so the company’s making billions. They’re saying, well, when this is all over, we may have to pay out two or $3 billion. And it’s still a good business decision. So it’s called an interruption. These experts interrupt the process of science by saying, you know, I’m the best in the world and I’m telling you, I can’t know because there’s not enough science.

Farron Cousins: And it really, as you talked about earlier, it comes down to the doctors too. The doctors are not staying up to speed on this. This information is now widely available. It’s been reported. Doctors have no excuse, even if it’s not reported, the doctors have a duty to their patients to stay up to speed on this stuff. And their failures can easily lead to deaths or irreparable harm.

Mike Papantonio: It is. You can’t just give these doctors a free pass here. They get literature all the time that tells them, look, this is developing literature. You have a duty to know about it. What ends up happening is they have, they’ve got this, they call ’em detailers. They’ve got it down to a real science. They’ll have these perky, cutesy little types coming in. Doc, I brought you some cupcakes. Oh, by the way, we have this new product that you can use off label. Now Ozempic is for diabetes. It’s not for weight loss. But you know what, doc? You might want to try it. You might get a good result. It’s called off label. These people are trained to pitch off label. They’ve got it down to a real science. It’s always a cutesy little deal. Let’s have dinner. You know, let’s talk. And it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting. You know, doctors, you know, they’re in their, they’re in their zone. They’re working every day. And then all of a sudden some perky little cutesy comes in with birthday cake or something like that and they’re friends for life.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And they say, oh, we have a conference coming up in Bora Bora over the Weekend.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, how’d you like to go. Yeah, exactly. We saw that big time with opioids. And it was, it’s just disgusting. If you figure 150 people died every day, probably more than that because the doctors didn’t do their job. And it wasn’t just about doctors. It was about the, it’s always the company at the head of the awful story. It’s always the company. And then they take advantage of the doctors and then it flows from there.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.