Medications are designed to improve health and well-being, and for the vast majority of people, they do just that. However, some drugs can have dangerous, life-altering side effects, ranging from severe allergic reactions to an increased risk of cancer and even death.
If you or a loved one has experienced serious health issues or lost a life due to the effects of a medication, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages, but there are time limits on how long you have to file a claim.
The skilled attorneys at Nomberg Law Firm specialize in pharmaceutical liability cases and can guide you through the complex legal landscape.
We’re committed to helping you hold the responsible parties accountable and securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.
How do defective drugs reach the market?
Defective drugs can make their way into the market for various reasons, including inadequate clinical trials, the pharmaceutical company’s rush to beat competitors, and regulatory oversights. Sometimes, the full spectrum of a drug’s side effects isn’t realized until it’s used by a broader population, potentially leading to severe health implications.
Once identified, these drugs are often subject to recalls, and the manufacturers may face lawsuits for the harm caused. However, by that time, patients may have already experienced irreversible damage or side effects.
Which medications are facing defective drug lawsuits?
Below are some prescription drug cases currently being litigated, many of which are facing class action lawsuits:
- Actos. Actos is a blood sugar medication used to treat type 2 diabetes that has been linked to heart and liver failure, bladder cancer, kidney disease and bone fractures.
- Depakote. Depakote is an anticonvulsant that works by affecting chemicals in the body that may be involved in causing seizures and by affecting certain brain signals that contribute to seizure activity. It’s also prescribed to treat migraines and bipolar disorder. The main potential side effects associated with this medicine include an increased risk of suicide and birth defects, including spina bifida, cleft palate, heart defects, abnormal skull development and genital deformities.
- Depo-Provera. Depo-Provera is an injectable form of birth control that’s also used to treat endometriosis. This drug has been linked to a decrease in bone density that leads to early-onset osteoporosis. Other potentially serious side effects include migraines, breast cancer, blood clots and depression.
- Fosamax. Fosamax is a drug used to treat osteoporosis by slowing the rate of bone cell absorption. The drug has been associated with femur fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a rare but serious condition in which the bone tissue in the jaw becomes exposed and may deteriorate, die or break off.
- Granuflo. Granuflo is a drug used for kidney patients who are undergoing dialysis treatment. Potential serious side effects include heart arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and death.
- Januvia. Januvia is a medication used to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s linked to serious pancreas complications, including pancreatic cancer.
- Lipitor. Lipitor is used to treat high cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies have linked the drug to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in women.
- Pradaxa. Pradaxa is used to prevent blood clots and strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heartbeat) that has been linked to severe bleeding.
- Topamax. Topamax is used to prevent seizures, migraines and hand tremors. The drug has been linked to birth defects, including cleft lip and cleft palate.
- Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin is prescribed to treat depression and help people quit smoking. It’s been associated with an increased risk of seizures.
- Yaz. Yaz is a medication used to prevent pregnancy. It may also be prescribed to treat acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It’s been linked to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
- Zoloft. Zoloft is a drug used to treat depression that, when taken during pregnancy, may be associated with pulmonary hypertension and withdrawal in the baby after birth.
Can you sue pharmaceuticals for side effects?
Yes, you can sue pharmaceutical companies for side effects, but there are specific conditions that generally need to be met for a successful lawsuit. In legal terms, medications that cause harmful side effects may be considered “defective products” and could be subject to one or more types of product liability claims, such as:
- Defective manufacturing. This applies if the drug was improperly manufactured or tainted.
- Failure to warn. This applies if the pharmaceutical company did not provide adequate warnings about the drug’s potential side effects or interactions.
- Defective design. This applies if the drug’s design is inherently dangerous, regardless of how well it’s manufactured and labeled.
It’s important to note that just because a drug has side effects doesn’t necessarily mean you can successfully sue the pharmaceutical company. Most medications have some risk of side effects, which are usually outlined in the drug’s labeling and patient information.
Lawsuits typically arise when a company fails to disclose a side effect, when the side effect is unreasonably severe, or when it can be proven that the drug was improperly manufactured.
Because pharmaceutical litigation is complex and challenging, it’s crucial to consult with legal professionals experienced in this area of law if you believe you have a case.
Who else may be liable for drug side effects?
In addition to pharmaceutical companies, liability for drug side effects can potentially fall on various parties along the supply chain, depending on the specifics of the case. Here are some of the key players who might be held responsible:
- Testing laboratories. Labs that conducted inadequate or fraudulent tests could be held liable if they led to adverse side effects not being properly identified before market release.
- Medical professionals. Doctors or pharmacists might also share in the liability, particularly if they prescribed or administered a drug in a manner contrary to the manufacturer’s guidelines or failed to inform the patient of known risks.
- Hospitals or clinics. Medical facilities may share responsibility, especially if their procedures or staff contributed to the improper prescription, administration or dispensing of a drug.
- Retail pharmacies. If a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or the wrong dose, they could also be held liable for any resulting side effects.
- Distributors and sales representatives. In some cases, companies or individuals who distributed or marketed the drug can also be held responsible, particularly if they were aware of the risks and did not communicate them effectively.
Because every case is different, it’s important to get personalized advice from an experienced defective drug attorney who can help you identify the potentially liable parties in your case.
Were you injured by a dangerous drug? The personal injury attorneys at Nomberg Law Firm can help.
If you or a loved one has suffered from severe side effects after taking medication, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance immediately. At Nomberg Law Firm, our team of specialized attorneys is well-versed in pharmaceutical and product liability law, and we have the resources to conduct thorough investigations to determine liability in your case.
We work with experts who can testify on your behalf, and we can help you explore various legal avenues, such as negligence, breach of warranty, and misrepresentation, to build a strong case. Don’t suffer in silence.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options and evaluate the strength of your potential claim.