Puerto Rico is the home to 12 of the Top 20 highest-grossing pharmaceutical companies in the world — with exports totaling up to $44 billion, according to Invest Puerto Rico. With so many health-centered businesses so close to home, it wouldn’t be surprising if you were more focused on achieving better health. Before you start using more pharmaceuticals to help unlock better health, it’s important that you learn about what defective drugs can do to you. So what do they do?

Adverse Side Effects

Both prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals carry side effectsbbut are manageable, according to the US Food & Drug  Administration. Sadly, this is not the case with defective drugs. Such an event occurred in Puerto Rico around the 1950s, when Gregory Pincus and Clarence Gamble used the populace to test the world’s first birth control pill. Under the guise of a fertility trial, countless Puerto Ricans experienced drastic nausea, spotting and depression. Three women died, but no autopsy was done to truly determine if their deaths were linked to the pill. Women and men who came forward to report side effects were written off as “unreliable subjects” and were completely disregarded.

Permanent Physical Damage

While most side-effects show up immediately, the more nefarious effects of defective drugs do not become apparent until it is too late. A good example of this is a drug called Elmiron, which is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company that has a plant in Puerto Rico. Studies have found that long-term use of Elmiron has resulted in Retinopathy, Retinal Pigment Epithelium Atrophy, Maculopathy, and several other conditions. These permanent and impairing physical damages have rightfully prompted an Elmiron class action lawsuit and a loss in confidence in Puerto Rico’s capability to manufacture safe drugs.

Birth Defects And Fetal Death

One of the more heart-wrenching dangers that defective drugs have affected unborn children. A good example of this is the drug Accutane, which is used to combat acne. Taking Accutane during pregnancy or getting pregnant four weeks after using Accutane have resulted in miscarriages, premature birth, birth defects, and even fetal death, according to Ann Pietrangelo.

When it comes to your health, you must always be very discerning about the drugs and chemicals that you put into your body. This is particularly true for citizens of Puerto Rico, who have a long history of being subjected to clinical trials and their effects. Careful consideration and proactive learning about defective drugs can help keep you safe so you can keep using the ones that truly boost your health.