The Dangers of Defective Drugs
Prescription drugs have helped advance medicine and extended the lives of millions of people. However, far too often than not, drug makers and “big pharma” place profit before the safety of the general public.
This is a serious matter since improperly tested or rushed-to-market drugs can have life-threatening consequences. Simply because a drug is on the market does not necessarily mean it is safe.
A few known defective drugs include:
How are Drugs Approved?
The government regulates prescription drugs in an effort to ensure they are not defective or unreasonably dangerous. Still, thousands of injuries and deaths occur every year that are linked to FDA-approved drugs that have since been proven dangerous or defective.
The number of defective products on the market can often be linked to the FDA’s expedited testing process, known as “501(k),” which can bring a drug to the public with very little testing. Without adequate testing, harmful side effects go undiscovered and a drug may worsen an existing health condition or cause the unimaginable – even death.
In other instances, the FDA may also rule that a drug’s benefits outweigh its harmful risks, even when death is a known possibility.
Consequences of Defective Drugs
Defective or improperly prescribed drugs can have life-changing side effects.
Reactions such as birth defects, heart attacks, heart conditions, hypertension, insomnia, memory loss, numbness and stroke can be traumatic and debilitating. Defective or dangerous drugs often lead to other chronic medical conditions that require long-term medical care.
In worse cases, defective drugs can even cause an untimely death.
Defective Drug Liability
Defective drugs fall into a category of law practice known as product liability, which refers to holding negligent manufacturers or companies responsible for presenting a defective product to consumers. When a product’s use introduces unexpected harm or dangers to a person, its manufacturer or seller can be held responsible for any and all damages that occur as a result.
Product liability claims fall into one of three categories:
- Manufacturing defects occur when the product, drug or device is manufactured improperly or became contaminated during the process and causes harm to the user.
- Design defects, or dangerous side effects, occur when the pharmaceutical drug was manufactured correctly, but its side effects result in harm or injury.
- Failure to warn, including defective marketing, is a failure to provide sufficient or appropriate instructions, warnings or recommendations for the use of the drug.
Who Is to Blame for My Injury?
The manufacturer, not the FDA, is responsible for ensuring a drug’s label is properly updated to protect the public safety. Responsibility for a dangerous or defective product can be traced all the way up a distribution chain of manufacturers and distributors.
The following parties can be held liable for a defective drug:
- The drug manufacturer: Drugs are a multi-billion-dollar, global business and are often rushed to the market for profit’s sake. Despite their vast resources, pharmaceutical companies have been known to inadequately test their products for safety, causing injury to millions of patients.
- The laboratory that tested the drug: Every drug must undergo a series of safety tests before it can be marketed or sold. If this research failed to catch a defect in the drug, those administering these tests can be held responsible for resulting injuries in consumers.
- The sales representative who sold the drug to healthcare providers: If your physician failed to warn you about possible side effects or did not adequately advise you on how to take the drug, he or she may be liable for your injury.
- The doctor, hospital or clinic that prescribed the drug: The pharmacy is often the final point in the chain of distribution and bears the final responsibility of advising youabout using the drug. Failure to provide you with adequate counsel about use of the drug may constitute liability on the pharmacist’s part.
When to Contact a Dangerous Drug Attorney
Because defective drugs often affect consumers on a global level, cases are often consolidated into mass tort or class action claims. A “mass tort” is a personal injury case where many people are harmed by the same product and often share the same injury. Mass tort and class action claims provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional and lengthy single part litigation.
Proving a case against big drug manufacturers can be daunting, as these corporations usually have unlimited resources. An experienced defective drug attorney is essential in forming a case against “big pharma.”
If you’ve been injured or worse by a prescription drug, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and losses. This compensation can help offset the financial weight of:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation care
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs
The attorneys at Searcy Denney are experienced, resourceful and fight aggressively for the rights of those injured by dangerous drugs. When we take on your case, you become a critical part of our legal team, and we work with you every step of the way. If we aren’t able to settle your case, we are prepared to litigate it in court to win you the justice, financial help and closure you deserve.
If you have a legal question, please reach out to us at any time. All consultations are absolutely free, confidential and without obligation. Contact us today at (800) 388-3905.
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