All drugs have side effects, and some side effects cause severe harm or death. Serious side effects associated with dangerous drugs include strokes, heart attacks or other heart problems, kidney failure, liver failure, mental problems, birth defects or death.
The pharmaceutical industry aggressively markets the benefits of their drugs, while the side effects are buried in fine print. Some drug advertising is misleading or false. And all too often drug companies sell their products without proper testing, putting profits ahead of public safety.
Many people assume drugs sold to the public are safe, but this is not always true. Clinical testing and approval by the Food & Drug Administration do not guarantee drug safety, and FDA approval does not shield a drug maker from liability. Sometimes drugs are poorly made, and the danger is unknown because the drug maker did not properly test the drug, or intentionally rigged testing data to conceal dangerous side effects.
Drug defect cases depend on an understanding of drug company testing data, including pre-market and post-market adverse event data, and consultation with medical experts to evaluate the accuracy of the testing and the adequacy of warnings.
Prescription errors happen when a medical provider gives the wrong drug, or the wrong dose. More than 100,000 Americans die each year from prescribed medication, and approximately 2 million Americans are forced to seek treatment in emergency departments or hospitals due to medication errors.
Prescription errors are a type of medical malpractice, and prescription error lawsuits are generally governed by the same legal standards as other types of medical malpractice. In evaluating a prescription error claim, the entire chain of drug distribution must be analyzed - from the doctor’s prescription pad, to the transcription of the medication order, to the dispensing of the drug, and how it was administered to the injured person.
Even with FDA approval, drug makers can be liable for selling a dangerous drug if they improperly promote “off-label” use. When a drug is approved for public sale, it is approved for a specific condition. Often, a drug will help medical conditions different than those the drug was tested and approved to treat. To boost profits, drug companies throw their marketing muscle behind promoting “off-label” uses of their drugs, and doctors routinely choose to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses based on bad information from the drug companies.
It is always difficult to prove that a particular drug, or combination of drugs, harmed a particular person. Every claim begins with a thorough understanding of your medical history. An experienced drug injury attorney can evaluate if your injury was caused by a defective drug, or by a prescription error.
If you or a loved one has a drug injury, call the Law Office of Cameron Carter today for a free consultation.