If you or a loved one have been harmed by a drug prescribed to you or that was purchased over the counter, you may be able to take legal action and sue for damages and other related expenses.
Millions of Americans rely on medicine to help with various ailments and conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Whether purchased over the counter or prescribed by a doctor, we take these drugs under the assurance they won’t cause us any undue harm. After all, their job is to make us feel better–not worse.
Drugs with known side effects aren’t inherently “dangerous”–at least not in the legal sense. If a company has done its due diligence in informing consumers about risks associated with a given drug, those same consumers can work with their doctors to make an educated decision about taking the drug.
However, when drug manufacturers fail to warn consumers about potential risks or side effects, they put people’s health–even their lives–in jeopardy. This happens more often than you may think. We rely on the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the sale of medication, but FDA approval is not so cut and dried. The FDA doesn’t actually test drugs. It relies on research and data from pharmaceutical companies. And, unfortunately, those companies can tend to favor profit over safety. That makes it easier for defective drugs to slip through the cracks and into the hands of consumers.
As more consumers learn about their legal rights in these situations, the nature of drug manufacturers’ negligence is uncovered. A drug can be considered dangerous for several reasons, including:
Consumers harmed by dangerous drugs are well within their legal rights to file a lawsuit against manufacturers. A quick, no-cost case review from Join the Many can help you understand if your situation qualifies for current or future litigation. Then, we can carefully match you with a law firm that specializes in cases like yours.
Lawsuits against drug makers come down to determining if the drug was defectively manufactured and/or defectively marketed.
Again, most drugs come with risks. But there’s a fine line between risky drugs, and drugs that are inherently defective. Legally speaking, a drug can be considered defective when it carries severe side effects that may outweigh the drug’s positive benefits. In these cases, the manufacturer can be held liable for the damages.
Additionally, drug manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their drugs are safe to use. Consumers harmed by a drug can sue for damages if they can prove the company knew, or should have known, about its potential dangers.
Finally, all medications should come with clear labels outlining their negative effects. Manufacturers that fail to include warnings can be subject to legal action.
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Sometimes, the issue begins at the source. When something goes wrong during the drug manufacturing process, the result can be harmful to consumers. Typically, this only affects a batch of drugs–not the entire product. Perhaps it was made improperly, or became tainted later.
Not all drugs considered to be defectively manufactured experience issues at the source, though. “Defectively manufactured” can encompass any problem that arises between the factory and when it makes its way into your hands. So, we must consider issues that occur during the bottling and shipping processes as well. Improper storage that leads to contamination is a liability issue for drug makers, as well as labeling mistakes.
However, even proper manufacturing can lead to issues. Take Zantac, for example. This medication was prescribed or given over the counter to treat heartburn and other similar ailments. However, it was eventually discovered that, over time, normal storage conditions can cause it to become contaminated with a carcinogenic chemical.
Patients and doctors work together to decide which medications to use in treatment of various conditions. They work under the presumption that pharmaceutical companies have been upfront about all the risks and warnings associated with a drug, and that clear usage instructions have been provided. If not, the drug may be considered defectively marketed.
Companies are required to make clear any potential risks or side effects associated with a medication. Without this information, a consumer does not have the opportunity to make an educated decision about their treatment. When drug makers fail to be transparent about dangerous side effects of a drug, they can be held liable for the damage it does.
In these cases, consumer injuries are usually caused by a failure to provide adequate or accurate warnings regarding a dangerous side effect or a failure to provide adequate instructions regarding the safe and appropriate use of the drug.
If you were harmed by a defective, dangerous drug, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers. You’ll need to prove the maker’s liability or negligence, and that it resulted in your injury. Keep in mind your lawsuit can include a combination of claims. For example, a claim based on a drug with a dangerous side effect may be coupled with a claim based on the failure to warn of that side effect.
Absolutely. These cases are often long, complex, and involve multiple parties. The requirements and procedures often vary between states. All of this can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with health issues related to the defective drug.
Compassionate legal care is your best resource when it comes to claiming the compensation you deserve for your injury. When you request a case review from Join the Many, we’ll listen to your story, help you determine if you may qualify for a successful lawsuit, and even help you gather medical records and other proof needed to proceed with your case.
Finally, we’ll carefully match you with a law firm that has extensive experience in dangerous drug cases. The firms we partner with have fought and won on behalf of clients all over the country who face similar circumstances. Not only can they help prove your case, they can negotiate settlements and ensure you’re paid what you’re owed.