Have you ever experienced a serious health issue as a result of a medication you took? You’re not alone; thousands of people every year experience serious side effects or negative repercussions as a result of their body’s reaction to a drug, medication, or treatment. When this occurs, you may be entitled to compensation, and you should speak with a Dallas product liability attorney as soon as possible. Let’s take a closer look at how these lawsuits work to help you determine if you should consider filing one.
Why do Dangerous Drugs Exist?
How do drugs with these issues reach the open market? Despite rigorous testing and intense certification requirements imposed by the FDA and other governing bodies, not all drugs that are approved are perfectly safe. This is largely due to the fact that it is impossible to test a drug for reactions and side effects against all types of people. Instead, studies and research is conducted on a small sample that encompasses as many potential factors as possible, and only after research has been done on how active ingredients between this drug and other substances will react.
However, you also have to consider that these medications are the lifeblood of pharmaceutical companies. These companies spend millions of dollars developing these drugs having them certified, and the longer a drug remains off the market, the longer it takes for them to receive a much-needed return on their investment. As a result, sometimes testing is not as thorough or complete as it perhaps should be. As a result, something that isn’t market-ready winds up going for sale, resulting in these problems.
When a defective drug hits the market, any one of a number of parties involved in its creation to its distribution could be held liable. These parties include:
- The drug manufacturer
- The testing laboratory
- The pharmaceutical sales representative
- The doctor who prescribed the drug
- The hospital that administered the drug
- The pharmacy who sold or distributed the drug
Let’s take a look at three ways in which a drug can be considered “defective,” making one party involved in its creation or distribution liable for the damage it could cause.
Defectively Manufactured Drugs
These types of suits have to do with how a drug is produced, and whether a mistake was made during its production. Most often, this has to do with the drug itself becoming tainted in some way. Perhaps the manufacturer accidentally allowed an ingredient to come in contact with a harmful or unclean substance, or perhaps the pharmacy accidentally mixed the drugs in with another, resulting in contamination.
Dangerous Side Effects
These cases involve drugs that are properly manufactured, but have side effects that make them unsuitable for public use. In some cases these side effects are extremely rare, and in others they are both known and acknowledged and doctors are warned not to administer or prescribe these drugs when patients fit a certain set of criteria. However, sometimes this testing is not done thoroughly enough and a large group of people unexpected start experiencing these side effects after taking the drug.
Improperly Marketed Drugs
Drug “marketing” involves the warnings, instructions, and labels placed on drugs that are meant to disclose what the drug is used for, how to use it, and any potential health risks that may be associated with using it. However, in many cases these warnings are inadequate, or the “advice” these manufacturers, sales reps, or pharmacists have given to doctors regarding the drug’s use. One example of a highly-publicized suit of this nature is the ongoing saga regarding Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder and the failure to disclose the cancer risks associated with it.