Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars each year in manufacturing drugs for consumers. Millions of people depend on prescribed medications for chronic pain or to treat certain medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, depression, insomnia, respiratory problems and for symptoms as minor as the common cold.
Approval by the FDA
Any new drug has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At one time, extensive clinical trials were required before a drug could be marketed, which could take years in some cases. But because of lobbying by drug companies and to some extent the demands of consumers to get life-saving drugs quickly to the market, the time for approving new drugs has been shortened.
The purpose of clinical trials is, of course, to determine if a drug is effective for treating a particular condition, if it is safe to prescribe, and what side effects or complications can arise if used by the consumer. These tests also should take into account the physiological status of the consumer who may be taking the drug and if other complications may arise for users who may be pregnant, have high blood pressure or have some other condition.
Unfortunately, drug companies are pressured to get their product onto the market quickly since competition with other pharmaceutical companies is fierce and billions of dollars are at stake. Often, companies falsify test data or do not conduct the intensive research needed, or ignore or minimize serious complications or side-effects and submit their results to the FDA for approval. When this happens, the consumer suffers.
Proper Labeling is Required
A drug may be effective in treating a particular medical condition but may have serious side-effects if not used properly or by someone who is suffering from some other condition so that interaction with a particular drug may cause a serious reaction or even death.
Proper warnings and labels need to accompany the drug, often put into inserts with the packaging that contains the drug’s characteristics, along with the potential risks and the recommended uses. Putting this information in this form may limit or even absolve the drug company’s exposure to liability in some cases.
Side-Effects from Defective Drugs
Complications from defective drugs can be life-threatening and may include among other side-effects:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Internal organ damage
- Blood clots
- Birth defects
- Liver failure
- Pulmonary embolisms
If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications following use of a drug, you may have a claim against the drug manufacturer or other responsible party. Promptly contact the San Jose personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian for a case evaluation.
Holding Drug Companies Responsible
In cases of defective drugs that have been the subject of litigation, juries have found that drug companies have intentionally hidden known complications from the FDA or have supplied falsified data. Merely because the FDA has approved a drug does not automatically absolve the pharmaceutical company from liability or from its duty to you to manufacture and market safe and effective drugs, or to adequately warn you of its risks.
Drug defect cases fall under product liability law. You may have a cause of action for any of the following:
- Defective design: Drugs are designed like any other product, but a designer has a duty to avoid or minimize injury by producing a safe drug.
- Defective marketing: Many drugs contain inadequate warnings or fail to disclose known or foreseeable risks.
- Defect in manufacturing: If a mistake occurs during the manufacturing process, such as contamination, it can lead to deadly results.
Compensation for Defective Drugs
Injuries from taking a defective drug can be devastating. If you have a viable lawsuit, you could collect compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a loved one
- Pain and suffering
Compensation in any personal injury case varies and depends on the severity of your injuries and other factors in your life.
Contact The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian
A drug defect case may be filed individually or be part of a class action lawsuit. In both of these instances, the personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian have been successful in prosecuting drug defect claims. We can investigate and show how a drug company or manufacturer should have taken measures to make their drug safer or to market it more appropriately.
Call us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to handle drug defect cases.