The makers of Zicam Cold Remedy, Matrixx Initiatives didnâ€™t want the general public made aware of issues surrounding the popular cold remedy.Â Sold over the counter in drug and grocery stores around the country, the nasal spray and swabs are advertised to help shorten the duration of a cold.Â However what isnâ€™t advertised is now under the microscope–and could shorten the existence of Matrixx Initiatives. Â
In an Arizona court room the U.S. Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments surrounding accusations that the drug robs its users of their sense of smell.Â Matrixx contends that the issue was â€œstatistically insignificantâ€ and that if the Court rules that greater transparency is needed, it could change what drug manufacturers and other medically based companies tell investors.Â Drug companies and other groups who share an interest in the â€œdonâ€™t tellâ€ policy are backing Matrixx–and believe that conveying every detail on every drug to the public would create a sense of unnecessary confusion for physicians,consumers, and most important to the big companies–investors.Â A decision on the issue is expected before the session wraps up in June but investors worry that the maker of Zicam may be on its way out.Â After Matrixx agreed last month to sell out for a prime $75.2 million to a private investment group based out of Miami, Florida.Â H.I.G. Capital LLC bought the company and is offering investors $8 a share–stockholders have been encouraged by Matrixx to accept by the end of January.
In 2006, a pension fund based in Decatur Illinois sued Matrixx based on the previous claim of damage to the nose that resulted in loss of smell, and claimed that the manufacturer knew of the risk but intentionally concealed it–from everyone.Â The case was dismissed in 2006 by U.S. District Court.Â But, as all good arguments and differing opinions go, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling–which triggered the most recent visit to the Supreme Court.
According to azcentral.com some say,â€œWe would be creating a situation where investors have to disclose everything,” said Tom DiLenge, general counsel of Washington, D.C.-based Biotechnology Industry Organization, which filed a legal brief supporting Matrixx. “That would be more misleading to the investing public- and potentially patients and doctors as well.”
As a consumer, we could also argue against the almighty dollar and perhaps for what is right and fair.Â Even though pharmaceutical companies consider side effects to be minor or â€œcircumstantialâ€ should the general public be allowed to make that decision for themselves? Of course, no right-minded drug company wants that to happen because then they would be out of business. Perhaps a bit more transparency would mean the difference between injuries from dangerous drugs and true safety for consumers.Â Without a doubt the impact on manufacturers and investments would be significant–and who can blame them for wanting to cover up issues when it has worked for years?