Defective drugs can be widely available prescription or over-the-counter drugs, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by trusted physicians. The term generally applies to any drug that doesn’t work as it should, causes an unexpected reaction, or becomes compromised during manufacture.
The most frightening aspect of defective drugs is the uncertainty surrounding to them. A medication you trusted and used for years can suddenly become life threatening. A medicine you thought was safe for your children suddenly shows up in the news as a dangerous substance. Families are beginning to doubt that the medical establishment can keep them safe from harm when it comes to medications. Here are answers to the common questions families are asking about defective drugs.
Who is Responsible for Drug Injuries?
The responsibility for the safety of medications falls squarely on the shoulders of the drug manufacturers. Before the FDA approves any drug, the manufacturer must reveal the intended uses and possible side effects that can result. Evidence from research and testing must show the drug is safe and effective. All too often, the drug makers skew test results to sway FDA approval of medications.
Drug makers push drugs through the FDA to make a profit, sometimes at the expense of consumers’ health. Anyone injured because of a defective drug has a right to seek compensation from the drug maker for the cost to treat the injuries and other expenses that result from the injury.
Why Didn’t I Hear About the Danger?
Many injured individuals question how the dangers posed by a drug remained secret. Unfortunately, victims, doctors and drug companies often fail to report drug injuries. Even when injuries are reported, the FDA must investigate and evaluate the level of risk. By the time the true risk becomes obvious, it is too late for victims who took the drug in the interim.
Injury reports to the FDA may not lead to an immediate recall. Sometimes, a drug that causes severe side effects for a certain segment of patients receives a new label with an FDA “black box warning.” This means the drug can cause serious harm but is still available to the public.
How Do Defective Drugs Reach the Market?
Defective drugs usually pick up their flaws during research, design or manufacturing stages. For drugs with proper research and design, quality control is usually the culprit. In some cases, a drug maker’s advertising claims or product labeling may be deceptive or deficient. The misleading information can put medication into the hands of a victim who has no knowledge of the danger.
Which FDA-Approved Drugs are Dangerous?
Even when consumers are vigilant in following drug recalls, studying labels for possible side effects or talking with a doctor about alternative medications, injuries and death from defective drugs still happen. Unfortunately, we cannot know which drugs will unexpectedly cause injury.
Proving injury from defective drugs is a complex process requiring the guidance of a seasoned product liability attorney. If you or someone you love suffered injury from a defective drug, contact our office. We will provide a free consultation and help you decide if you should pursue a lawsuit against the defective drug’s manufacturer.