What is a pharmaceutical injury?
Pharmaceutical injuries occur when a patient takes a defective drug, is instructed to take an improper dosage, or is prescribed the wrong drug by his physician.
How do defective drugs reach the marketplace?
While one of the Food and Drug Administration's duties is to protect American consumers from defective drugs, often the FDA inadequately tests medications before they reach the marketplace.
While pharmaceutical companies should thoroughly test their drugs, the amount of money invested in their products causes them to rush products onto the marketplace, occasionally without fully investigating potential side effects.
We take drugs at the recommendation of our physicians, entrusting our health and well being to the pharmaceutical companies and their products. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical injury caused by defective drugs is all too common and instead of drugs improving our quality of life, they actually cause serious injury or even wrongful death.
Injuries Caused by Defective Drugs
With dollar signs flashing in their eyes, pharmaceutical companies are prone to release drugs before fully realizing their long-term side effects. Consumers are forced to bear the burden of their greed by sustaining injuries from their inadequately tested drugs, such as:
- Heart attack
- Stroke due to hemorrhages
- Increased blood pressure
- Internal organ damage
- Depression, which may lead to an increased chance of suicide
With nearly half the American population taking a minimum of one prescription drug daily and one in six taking three or more every day, these injuries and the negligence that causes them is inexcusable.
Common dangerous drugs that have reached the marketplace
As more pharmaceutical companies attempt to devise miracle drugs to address even the most minute of health problems, the prevalence of dangerous drugs and pharmaceutical injuries increases. Common dangerous drugs include:
- OxyContin - A highly addictive painkiller that is subject to abuse
- Vioxx - Once considered a miracle drug by those suffering from diabetes, an independent study soon confirmed that it increases the risk of cardiovascular complications
- Paxil - Originally prescribed to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but was determined to have caused a spike in child suicide rates
- Baycol - Instead of lower cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart attacks, Baycol caused the death of almost 100 people before being recalled
How long do I have to file a claim?
Defective drugs and pharmaceutical injury cases must be filed promptly. Each state has its own mandatory time limits in which people are permitted to file claims against the manufacturers of dangerous drugs. If you wait too long, you risk denial of financial compensation you otherwise may be entitled to.
Liability in Pharmaceutical Injury Lawsuits
Typically, one of the following parties is held accountable for negligence in pharmaceutical injury cases:
The drug manufacturer - When inadequate research and testing was done on the drug, or if the company fails or attempts to hide the drug's dangerous side effects. In this case, the grounds are prepared for a defective products lawsuit.
The pharmacist - If a prescription is filled with the wrong medication or dosage, which is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The physician - If the physician prescribed a drug to a patient that others in their profession would not have, their negligence may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Pharmaceutical injury cases must be filed within a certain time frame, which varies state by state. If you or a loved one has suffered a pharmaceutical injury, you need the assistance of a law firm capable of fighting back against the giant, pharmaceutical industry.