In the U.S., prescription medications have presented harmful side effects and catastrophic results for patients. As new risks are discovered, the FDA issues a recall for the dangerous or defective drugs. Patients who sustained injuries or developed devastating conditions while taking the medications have the legal right to file a claim against the pharmaceutical companies that released the drugs. A personal injury attorney can help claimants who sustained injuries or developed serious conditions.
Defining the Dangers to Patients – Bad drug lawsuits
The Food and Drug Administration regulates all prescription medications released on the market. Each prospect is tested, and all probable side effects must be disclosed to any patient that is prescribed the medication. However, over time, side effects and conditions that weren’t discovered originally could emerge and create lasting complications for patients. Whenever new risks are identified, the government agency must step in and take immediate action. Currently, seven prescription medications have been declared dangerous and defective within the last few years.
1. Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella
The birth control pills have shown an increase in the rate of blood clot development. Patients have developed pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis while taking the medications. However, the rare side effects for the medication indicate the potential for Crohn’s disease, liver dysfunction, gallstones, and pancreatitis.
Accutane is a prescription medication used to treat acne. According to the latest reports, the medication causes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. For some patients, the medication also leads to suicidal thoughts. Pregnant women should never take the medication although it has been prescribed to the patients resulting in birth defects. Statistics show that around $56 millions in damages have been awarded to patients since the year 2000.
Pradaxa is a blood thinner prescribed to cardiovascular patients to prevent the clogging of arteries. According to reports, the medication has presented patients with liver failure, uncontrolled bleeding, and even heart attacks.
4. Z-Pak or Zithromax
Zithromax which is best known as a Z-pak is prescribed to fight off infections. It is prescribed for bacterial infections, strep throat, and respiratory-related illnesses. According to medical malpractice reports, the prescription drug could lead to fatal heart conditions. The FDA’s warning identifies anyone who has any pre-existing heart-related conditions as the highest risk group that is more likely to die if they take the medication. The initial report was released by the FDA in 2013 denoting irregular heart rhythms produced by the medication. Among the adverse symptoms patients have experienced are heavy menstrual bleeding, coughing up blood, and blood in their stools. The warnings from the FDA also indicate potential renal failure with prolonged use of the prescription drug.
Depakote was prescribed originally for the treatment of epilepsy. However, doctors began providing it to patients with mood disorders such as bipolar 1 disorder and manic depression. According to reports from the FDA, the medication has been linked to pancreatitis and liver failure. It also leads to severe metabolic acidosis in some patients. A high volume of patients developed diabetes due to significant weight gain and uncontrolled blood glucose levels, too.
Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication that was used to treat mood disorders and other psychiatric conditions. According to FDA reports, patients experienced severe decreases in white blood cell counts initially. Others developed conditions such as neuroleptic malignant syndrome. A high volume of male patients developed gynecomastia while taking the prescription medication for a prolonged duration.
Fosamax is prescribed to treat osteoporosis. However, FDA reports show that the medication is causing bone fractures in elderly patients. According to the reports, more elderly patients are developing Dead Jaw Syndrome while taking the medication. The condition leads to the complete loss of the jawbone.
Defining the Liability of the Doctor
Doctors who prescribe medications to their patients that were recalled or labeled as dangerous are liable for patient injuries or adverse conditions. The choice to prescribe medication when there is a current FDA warning indicates a failure to provide high-quality healthcare to the patient. It also indicates that the doctor was negligent in providing dangerous or defective medications. Under the circumstances, the patient has the legal right to seek damages from their doctor.
Defining the Liability of the Pharmaceutical Company
Pharmaceutical companies are liable for patient injuries when severe adverse conditions are discovered. The companies aren’t liable for known risks associated with the medication that were disclosed to the patients. Common side effects don’t present a liability for the pharmaceutical company. However, new discoveries that could lead to life-threatening conditions do present a liability and the potential for negligence. If the FDA takes action, the pharmaceutical company is responsible for any patients that develop the severe conditions identified by the federal agency. At which time, the patients have the right to file a legal claim.
What Actions can Patients Take?
Patients who sustained injuries or developed serious conditions due to defective or dangerous prescription medications can file a legal claim. The medical malpractice claim is filed according to which party is at fault. In the claims, the patient presents all their medical expenses related to the prescription medication. The expenses include the cost of treating any new conditions that they developed as a result of taking the dangerous drugs. Any financial losses such as lost wages are also included in the legal claim. If the patient dies, their family could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor that prescribed the medication or the pharmaceutical company that released it.
What are the Potential Outcomes of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
While there isn’t a guarantee that the patient will win, he or she could acquire significant compensation if they do win their case. In the cases, the patient receives economic damages associated with their medical expenses and lost wages. If the defendant is a doctor, the patient could receive punitive damages for the doctor’s negligence. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family could receive lifetime earnings for the patient if he or she provided financial support for the claimant. Any financial award provided to the patient is dependent on the judge’s decision in their individual case.
In the U.S., a larger volume of prescription medications has been identified as defective and dangerous. In these cases, the drugs have created more complex conditions than the original illness identified by their doctor. Underlying conditions have developed while using the medications to treat the patients. Patients who have developed complications or new illnesses could file a claim against their doctor and/or the pharmaceutical companies to collect compensation for their injuries. Patients who want to start a legal claim are encouraged to contact an attorney right now.