Many individuals who suffer adverse side effects from taking pharmaceutical drugs never pursue legal action against the companies that made the medications. Perhaps some victims are afraid they cannot win the legal battle against giant corporations. The information presented here is designed to show that dangerous drug claims can be won when the evidence points in the right direction and a team of legal representatives is amassed with the proper education, skill, and experience to make it happen.
What Are Dangerous Drugs?
Dangerous drugs are considered medications (over the counter and prescription) that cause side effects, injuries, or complications for which no warnings were given.
When a manufacturer proposes a new drug for distribution to the public, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve of the drug’s distribution. While it is imperative to know before release whether a new medication will harm the public, surprisingly, the FDA does not test new medications itself. The agency allows the fox to guard the henhouse, so to speak, by letting drug manufacturers do their own testing and then submit results about the medication’s safety and effectiveness to the agency. The FDA trusts pharmaceutical companies to quickly send reports of any adverse events after the FDA’s approval has been given.
Proving a Claim
The basis for most pharmaceutical drug lawsuits is usually personal injury. For victims to win, they must show they suffered an injury, and the injury resulted from any of the following three:
- Dangerous side effects
- Defective manufacturing
- Improper marketing
Also, injured victims must prove they were given no warning from the doctor or the drug company of potential risks from taking the medication. Anyone who received a notification but decided to use the medication anyway has low chances of winning a lawsuit.
Potentially Liable Parties
Other parties besides the drug manufacturer may also be liable for the injuries patients suffered. An experienced attorney will identify which parties can be held legally accountable and made to compensate victims for damages. Some of these parties are:
Drug Manufacturer – The makers of pharmaceuticals are not small mom-and-pop companies. They are typically massive in size and have the ability to pay high settlement amounts. This can be good news for injured victims who want to be justly compensated for the trauma and suffering they’ve endured from drugs manufactured by “big pharma.”
Testing Lab – The chances are good that the dangerous medication went through multiple tests as it made its way to the consumer. Victims should include each of the testing labs in their lawsuits.
Pharmaceutical Sales Rep – Drug company sales representatives meet with physicians and other medical personnel to promote the latest medication and its uses. Drug reps could be liable if they touted a dangerous medication that caused injuries.
Physicians – Physicians are in the chain of distribution of medications. They can be liable for patients’ injuries from a drug, especially if they failed to adequately warn patients about side effects or give correct instructions about using the drug.
Pharmacy – The final point along a drug’s chain of distribution is often the pharmacy. Patients frequently depend on the pharmacist to give professional advice and counseling about each specific medication prescribed.
Clinic or Hospital – These facilities dispense medication to patients, so the entities fall within the distribution chain. At any point in this chain, someone in charge could have halted the dispensing process when patients were showing harm and injury from a drug.
Class Action Lawsuits
When one victim alone launches an effort to hold a massive pharmaceutical company liable for damages, the challenge can be overwhelming due to the large fleet of corporate lawyers on staff and the endless supply of money at the company’s disposal. Here’s where class-action lawsuits come into play.
Medications are given to vast numbers of individuals, which means there is a large pool of adversely affected patients who have been injured by the same drug. When combining all of these victims into one class-action lawsuit, the cost-effectiveness multiplies exponentially. With several victims on board, the suit indicates the wide-reaching adverse effects of the drug on patients. It raises the potential for a successful outcome and a more significant overall compensation award.
Types of Dangerous Drug Claims
Failed to warn or improper instructions – If the label on a medicine bottle does not adequately inform the patient of dosage and other needed instructions, this is termed as failure to warn. Some drugs are improperly marketed to consumers as having off-label uses. For example, the anti-depressant medicine, Cymbalta, is promoted for treating chronic pain.
With this type of improper marketing, dangerous misuse can happen. The drug is treating conditions for which it was not tested or even considered, and it certainly was not given FDA approval to treat the diseases. A class-action lawsuit exists against Seroquel, an anti-psychotic medication because it was being promoted with post-traumatic stress disorder and anger management issues. Even 10-year-olds were given Seroquel and developed problems like neurological disorders, high blood sugar, and diabetes.
Choose an Experienced Legal Representative
Pharmaceutical companies are large corporations, and many are international, thus complicating litigation. Physicians and pharmacies rarely ever admit fault and have large legal teams and insurance companies defending them. There is no shortage of money for these large companies to spend in defending their wrongdoing.
For a victim to successfully wage a legal battle against such giants, the injured victim can trust The Eichholz Law Firm. Our legal team has years of experience in handling dangerous drug lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. Contact our team to learn what steps you need to take next to get financial compensation and justice.