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Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Herdy join me on this episode of Drugwatch Podcast. Dick and Herdy are two of the creative forces behind Netflix’s original documentary The Bleeding Edge.
The film does a deep dive into the powerful medical device industry. It highlights the lack of regulation and testing of medical devices.
“The thing that was most shocking to us is that the overwhelming majority of medium-risk and high-risk devices are never tested in humans,” Dick, the film’s director, told Drugwatch.
The worst thing about it is they get away with it, and they’ve been doing it for years, Dick and Herdy said.
The idea for the film came from Herdy. After being treated for breast cancer, she spoke with a health care advocate. What she found out shocked her.
“Several hundred thousand Americans die every year due to medical mistakes. I remember thinking, ‘No, this can’t be.’… it’s the equivalent of two 747s crashing and killing everyone on board every day,” Herdy, one of the film’s producers, said.
She brought the story to Dick and fellow producer Amy Ziering. Herdy, Dick and Ziering crafted their film around the stories of people injured by devices such as Essure, transvaginal mesh and metal-on-metal hip implants.
Part of the problem is that industry funds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Herdy said.
“I hope more people will ask questions about medical devices before they have them implanted … because their life could depend on it,” Herdy said.
The Bleeding Edge premieres on Netflix on July 27.
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