When you are faced with a serious illness, you trust your doctor to take care of you, giving you the best care possible and prescribing you medications that will help your symptoms without harming you in other ways.
Sometimes, however, that does not happen. You may experience less problems with your ailment, but the cure results in side effects that do more harm than good. What do you do when that happens?
Many people who took medications that were touted as miracle cures but were not fully researched regarding the potential adverse reactions have paid for these mistakes and oversights with their lives. If you or one of your loved ones has taken a prescription blood-thinner or other medication in which the cure was worse than the ailment, and you have experienced severe side effects, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Prescription Drug Recalls and Alerts
Over the years, many prescription drugs have been FDA approved, distributed and prescribed, and then recalled as the users noted side effects that were unacceptable. The recalls and alerts were great to avoid further damage, but those users who had already taken the medication had no way to undo the damage that was already done.
In fact, detailed studies have found that nearly a third of FDA-approved drugs had major problems, many so significant that they resulted in recalls. The truth is that any newly created and approved drug just simply has not had enough time to truly see all of its effects, and when it looks great and hits the basic criteria, it gets pushed to the market before long-term research has been conducted.
The constant push to get medications FDA-approved faster so the companies can begin making money on their products and “help” people with their medical concerns is actually detrimental. Currently, the average drug takes approximately 12 years to get from the research phase to being able to be prescribed to a patient. The infinitesimal number of five in 5,000 preclinical drugs every make it to human trials and only one of those is ever actually approved for human use. Speeding this process up makes it obvious that more of those unapproved drugs will be approved, and then removed from the market after they have harmed patients irreversibly.
Side effects that may indicate that a drug may be defective can include symptoms like heart conditions (including heart attacks or stroke), kidney and liver disorders, blood clots, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolism, respiratory diseases, skin conditions, or other serious conditions.
Prescription drug lawsuits are very common – so common, in fact, that these types of drugs have their own label. Pharmaceutical drugs that are not fully vetted and researched prior to going to market that end up having dangerous and deadly side effects are called “defective drugs,” and if you or your loved ones were victims of the side effects of these medications, you need to know what to do to ensure further injury does not happen to others, and possibly receive compensation for your suffering.
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Has Been a Victim of These Types of Drugs?
Your first step, no matter what the side effects have been, should be to report the defective drug by talking to your doctor if it was a prescription medication, or calling the number on the box of any over-the-counter medications and reporting your experience directly to the drug manufacturer. You can also report your experience to the FDA directly.
After you have reported your personal situation, you may consider pursuing a drug lawsuit for damages. These damages can be compensation for your medical bills, suffering and loss, missed work, or other losses. Finding a liability lawyer with experience in drug lawsuits should be your next step if you wish to pursue this avenue.
Once your attorney files a claim for you against the drug manufacturer, you should know what to expect. You may receive a settlement offer from the company. If you do, you have the right to choose to accept it or take the claim to court.
Damages in either situation can consist of medical bills for past, current and future services, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may also be awarded punitive damages if you have taken the case to court and the jury determines that the drug manufacture was negligent, or, worse, knew the product was dangerous and released it anyway.
What You Will Need to File Your Claim
Your lawyer will advise you about the legal avenues you can expect to see, but in general you should have three main pieces necessary to win your case. You need to prove to the jury the following:
- The drug company designed a drug that was considered to be safe and you as the user should have been able to trust that they had a duty of care in the release of it.
- The drug manufacturer, either negligently or purposely, designed a defective or unsafe drug or therefore breached the duty of care you were owed.
- This breach caused you to sustain serious or permanent injury, or your loved one’s death, because you/they took the medication.
In order to prove each of these factors without a doubt, your attorney will obtain your medical records, testimony of medical experts, and other information that will help support your case. Because of the extensive legalities involved in a drug lawsuit, you need to make sure you have chosen an attorney who is reputable and experienced, and one that you feel confident in.
Your Next Step
If, after all of this information, you believe that you or someone you love has been a victim of a defective drug, and you have reported your experiences to your doctor and the manufacturer, you need to do your part in finding a lawyer you can trust to handle your case for you.
You should understand that the drug company that you are suing will be represented by a team of attorneys with experience. You will need a drug attorney with experience to be able to handle your best interests, however, with a legal expert you have confidence in, together you can both face the giants and prevent more people from suffering from the damaging medication.