When you are prescribed medication for a condition, there is a reasonable expectation that it will help you heal. In many cases, it does. However, there are some unfortunate cases where medications may lead to worse health conditions or exacerbate a previous one.
Drug companies are quick to consider these developments rare and insist on the safety of their products. However, there are instances where drugs are not researched thoroughly and get pushed through the FDA approval system. When this occurs, you may have a product liability claim for drug-induced injuries against these manufacturers.
Types of Injuries
A drug-induced injury typically arises from side effects or properties of the drug. While some side effects may be mild and considered minor when compared to therapeutic value, others can be life threatening.
For example, antibiotics, central nervous system agents, dietary supplements, and immune system support have been linked to drug-induced liver injuries. When these treatments are combined with acetaminophen, patients may face complete liver failure.
Patients may also face injuries from a drug interaction. The American Heart Association discovered over one hundred medications and supplements that are risky for people with heart failure or at risk of heart failure. Patients are not always informed of this possibility and often face unknown risk.
In a similar category as drug interaction is also prescription drug overdose. Due to poor instructions or mislabeling, patients may also sustain injuries from taking too much of a medication.
While facing injuries and obtaining proper treatment can be difficult enough, yet another challenge lies in forming the legal case against a drug company.
Drug-induced injuries fall under several legal theories. One is product liability. Poor quality medication and misleading marketing are common offenses. Since manufacturers are required to provide safe products, it is reasonable for consumers to assume that safety when they are prescribed medication.
Medical malpractice is another possibility. Doctors and pharmacies may not adequately inform patients of possible interactions and risks, keeping patients from making informed decisions about their treatment.
Multiple possibilities for legal liability highlight a primary challenge with these claims: finding the responsible party. The list of potential defendants for drug-induced injuries is long and not limited to drug manufacturers. Testing laboratories, pharmaceutical sales workers, doctors, clinics, and even the pharmacy could responsible.
Bringing Forward a Claim
If you bring a drug-induced injury claim, the drug company may try to blame your injuries on someone else, including you. Manufacturers are prepared for these claims because, frankly, they expect them. Their attorneys are accustomed to challenging plaintiffs and making attempts to shift liability to other parties. Since money is often no object with drug companies, they are frequently willing to go to trial.
Drug companies also have experts available to attest to the safety of the drug and claim your experience is a rare and unexpected one. Just as they have the ability to keep their legal teams well-paid, the same is true for their staff doctors, outside consultants, and paid researchers. These are often resources not available to most plaintiffs.
Drug-induced injury cases are difficult but fortunately, not impossible to win. Research into medications has improved and more patients are willing to make their experiences known. This allows for better flow of information and if you have a drug-induced injury claim, there may be another claim similar to yours or even a class-action lawsuit.
Mazow | McCullough, PC is dedicated to helping patients receive compensation for their drug-induced injuries. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation at (855) 693-9084.