Drugs have literally transformed medicine, but not all are safe for every user, as evidenced by the ongoing stream of pharmaceutical cases seen in civil court. Defective and dangerous drugs make it through to the shelves of pharmacies all the time, and although a drug may not be dangerous to all patients, it can be dangerous to specific patients under the right circumstances. To make things more complicated, drugs may not immediately be a known danger; it can take years or even decades to understand the complete effects that drugs have on the body. When drugs are pushed through too quickly for FDA approval, or when they contain insufficient warnings or incomplete labeling, problems can arise. If you or someone you love has been affected by a dangerous drug, then you have a right to hold the pharmaceutical company or even the doctor prescribing the drug accountable for any damages that you experience as a result. Contact your pharmaceutical lawyer right away after you realize you are injured.
Examples of Defective Drugs
There are three types of drug defects that result in pharmaceutical liability cases:
- Pharmaceutical drugs that are manufactured with defects: This claim results from a drug that has been either been manufactured improperly or somehow becomes tainted during the manufacturing process. Some examples include:
- Improperly labeling
- Putting the wrong ingredient in the pill during production
- Adverse events during shipping
If you were injured as a result of your medication becoming tainted at the factory or retailer, you have a valid claim.
- Pharmaceutical drugs that have dangerous side effects: This includes serious side effects that result in severe illness or injury. Patients often claim that the manufacturer of the medication was aware of the adverse side effects and failed to adequately disclose the risks, if this can be proven in court, victims may receive a hefty sum in the form of punitive damages. This type of claim can be filed over drugs that have been circulated in the public for a long time, since serious long-term health issues may be discovered only after long time use.
- Pharmaceutical drugs that are falsely marketed: This type of “bad advice” claim is the result of a patient suffering bad side effects or being assured the drug is a “miracle drug” for treating their illness or issue.
Determining Liability in Pharmaceutical Cases
If you’ve been harmed or otherwise injured as a result of consuming defective drugs, a skilled attorney is needed to help you determine liability in your case. An investigation is needed to determine whether the defect occurred during the drug’s production stage, or during its trip to the retailer, or is the result of inadequate instructions on how to properly use the drug.