Michelle Y. Llamas strives to empower patients to take charge of their healthcare and be informed consumers. She joined the Drugwatch team in 2012 and has had the honor of meeting and speaking with people whose lives changed forever because of the negligence of drug and device companies. The relationships she built with these people and their families drive her. She was even able to speak with renowned advocate Erin Brockovich who shared one of her pieces on her website.
Online and print publications have published her work with Drugwatch, including the Journal of Palliative Medicine. She has appeared as a guest on a number of health podcasts and radio shows in the U.S and Canada.
Some of the investigative feature stories Michelle has written about include: How the FDA Let Women Down, Selling Side Effects: Big Pharma’s Marketing Machine, Diabetes: Stigma, Blame and Shame, and Misplaced Trust: Why FDA Approval Doesn’t Guarantee Drug Safety.
After she attended the University of Florida, she then spent several years as a legal assistant for Bogin, Munns & Munns — a large plaintiff’s law firm in Orlando. It was here that she developed a desire to be an advocate for consumers and a deep respect for the legal system, whose job it is to protect them. She saw that sometimes the only recourse against powerful companies and negligence is the justice system.
But Michelle’s ultimate goal was to be able to make a difference with her writing.
So, she decided to attend the technical writing program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Here, she took complex information and distilled it into a form that was accessible and helpful to the reader. During her last semester, she interned at the UCF Office of Diversity Initiatives. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English – Technical Communication from UCF.
Her natural desire to advocate and help others led her to develop materials that would help teachers combat bullying in schools. She represented UCF in the first ever Anti-Bullying Summit at the The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida.
When she joined the Drugwatch team in 2012, Michelle realized her goal of combining two of her passions: writing and advocacy. She is particularly passionate about advancements and safety in women’s health. Each day she comes to work knowing that her talents are being used to educate and help people make a difference.
She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), the Florida Writers Association (FWA) and has obtained several writing certificates from Poynter University.
Michelle also interviews medical experts, patient advocates and consumers affected by dangerous drugs and devices. Formerly known as Drugwatch Radio, the Drugwatch Podcast features the personal stories of everyday men and women who suffered life-changing side effects from drugs and devices.