Defective Medications

Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers produce thousands of drugs. Many consumers depend on medication to live longer or to maintain their quality of life. Without medication, millions of people would die or suffer needlessly. Unfortunately, unsafe or defective medications cause countless deaths and other severe injuries.

Drug companies, however, are profit-driven enterprises that in many cases override their obligation to design, manufacture and market drugs that are safe and effective or at least to warn of potential risks. Before a drug can be marketed, it must be FDA approved after the agency reviews the data and clinical test results supplied by the manufacturers.

In some cases, a drug company will produce medication that is defective, or which is unsafe for its intended use and causes medical conditions that the company either knew about and failed to disclose, or provided falsified or incomplete data and test results. Defective medications lead to strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, birth defects, depression and other life-threatening conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective medication, contact the Sacramento personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian.

Numerous drugs, many of which have been used for years, have been linked to dangerous medical conditions and have been the subject of individual lawsuits and class actions including:

    • Actos

Actos is a drug that treats type 2 diabetes that has been linked to bladder cancer.

    • Acetaminophen

Though generally effective for treating some conditions, if used too much it can lead to liver failure.

    • Byetta

Used to treat type 2 diabetes, it has also been linked to kidney failure and pancreatic cancer.

    • Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella

These are oral contraceptives that have been shown to cause blood clots.

    • Lexapro

A popular anti-depressant, Lexapro has been shown to heighten the risk of birth defects.

    • Propecia

Used as a remedy for male pattern baldness, Propecia has a number of serious side effects including permanent loss of sexual function.

    • Avandia

Avandia, a once popular diabetes medication, has been linked to heart failure, liver failure and stroke.

    • Celebrex

Used for pain relief and an anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID, Celebrex has been shown to increase the risk for heart attack, stroke and circulation problems.

These are just some of the medications that have been found to be defective or have side-effects that manufacturers failed to disclose, leading to individual and class action lawsuits.

Liability of Drug Manufacturers and Others

Drug defect or defective medication cases fall under the rules and principles of product liability law. Drug manufacturers have a legal duty to test their drugs and to use criteria issued by the FDA. Too often, drug companies falsify data, fail to disclose known risks or minimize the risks with incomplete test results or data. An FDA-approved drug can still prove to be defective and will not necessarily insulate the manufacturer from liability.

A drug company also has a duty to consumers to warn of foreseeable risks and to continue to keep itself and the public informed of its product’s potential risks. There are some drugs, however, that may be unsafe and have harmful side-effects but may nonetheless be of benefit to some users, such as cancer patients. So long as there is a proper warning regarding the drug, the drug manufacturer may be able to escape liability if a consumer suffers an adverse reaction.

There have also been cases of medications that have been contaminated at places where they are manufactured, compounded or distributed. In 2012, a contaminated steroid that was injected into some 14,000 patients for joint problems was linked to the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, which led to an outbreak of fungal meningitis and at least 36 deaths.

Other responsible parties are the testing laboratories that may have fabricated test data or which failed to follow the required testing criteria. Physicians or even pharmacists who fail to warn their patients about potential risks or to provide adequate instructions on how to use the drug may also be liable and be a named defendant in a defective drug lawsuit for possible medical malpractice.

Compensation for Defective Drugs

Complications from taking a defective medication can be devastating. If you have an actionable claim, you could collect compensation for the following:

  • 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 largely on the severity of your injuries and other factors in your life.

Contact The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian

Defective medication cases 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 have been successful in prosecuting defective medication claims. We can investigate and show how a manufacturer should have taken measures to make their drug safer or how it failed to warn of the potential foreseeable risks.

Call us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to handle defective medication cases.