When you go to the doctor and get medicine, you expect it to fix problems, not cause them. Chances are high that your doctor expects that, too. However, almost all common medications—both prescription and over-the-counter—have risks.
For most drugs, the risks are known, minimal, and only impact a small percentage of users. For other medications, the risks are substantial and can have a devastating impact on your health, and a fierce personal injury attorney may get involved. When you have had a prescription negatively impact your health, a free consultation with a Woodbridge dangerous drugs lawyer will be worthwhile.
Before they go to market, medications undergo a rigorous testing process. That testing should reveal any potential side effects and the likelihood a person will experience those side effects. Depending on what ailment the medication is treating, patients may still make an informed decision to try it, regardless of the known side effects.
A medication with potentially severe side effects should have a black box label, the Food and Drug Administration’s most serious warning label. The purpose of this is to alert patients and healthcare providers and ensure they have all the information to make the best healthcare decisions.
However, the manufacturers often do not know of or ignore some of the severe side effects. The side effects become apparent only after the drugs move into mass-market use. Unfortunately, the drugs can harm thousands of people during that discovery process. The FDA may even pull some of the drugs from the marketplace or change their warnings or prescribing guidelines. An attorney who handles dangerous drug cases in Woodbridge Township can help research the information available at the time of prescription.
Compensation for Harmful Side Effects
Most medications have some side effects, but not every patient who experiences them can get compensation. Most side effects go away when a patient stops taking the drug or are minor when compared to the medicine’s benefits. However, there are two broad reasons that a person might have a medication product liability claim.
Improperly marketed medications can lead to compensation. When the manufacturer does not provide adequate instructions or warnings about side effects, that could be improper marketing. For example, many doctors prescribe GLP-1 medications for weight loss, even though they are only FDA-approved for treating diabetes. Since these medications can have severe side effects, that could be improper marketing.
Another potential issue is when the drugs have a defect in manufacturing. A few years ago, a popular heartburn medication was contaminated with a carcinogen, which led to its removal from the market. That was a manufacturing defect.
Some drugs may have severe side effects even if they have FDA approval. Determining whether a patient has a potentially dangerous drug claim is a fact-specific question a Woodbridge Township attorney can evaluate.
Liability for Harmful Medications
Many patients wonder who is liable in a dangerous drug case. The answer depends on what the issue was and who was responsible for it.
Generally, pharmaceutical companies are responsible for those medications since they manufacture and market them. Testing laboratories may share responsibility when they miss issues during testing. Distributors, including healthcare professionals, could be liable, as well. For example, when a doctor prescribes a black box medication to someone in a high-risk category—especially when safer alternatives are available—that could support a malpractice claim. A Woodbridge attorney who focuses on dangerous drugs can explore the various parties who may be responsible.
Contact a Dangerous Drugs Attorney in Woodbridge
Product liability cases have a short personal injury statute of limitations. When a dangerous drug hurts you, the clock starts ticking. Furthermore, if there are class action suits involving that medication, they can impact your rights as an individual plaintiff. The best way to discover your options is to contact a Woodbridge dangerous drugs lawyer immediately.