Practically every known drug has side effects, a response that occurs in addition to the predicted effects of that drug. As an example, the predicted effect of a “flu tablet” is to stop a runny nose but it may have the side effect of making you sleepy. Prescription drug negligence occurs when a drug manufacturer releases a product that is later found to cause injury to the person for which that drug was prescribed.
Classes of drugs that are frequently the subject of prescription negligence or prescription drug negligence lawsuits include:
* antidepressants (Paxil, Zoloft, etc): may cause suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in children and teenagers, also linked to birth defects
* analgesics and narcotics (morphine, Demerol, Oxycontin, etc): very high potential for addiction or accidental overdose
* statins (Lipitor, Lovastatin, Zocor, etc): may cause liver damage and, in rare cases, kidney failure
* non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , or “NSAIDS” (Vioxx, etc): may cause stomach bleeding, also associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke
* birth control patches or pills: increased risk of blood clots and fatal pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that lodges in the lungs)
By law, both the drug manufacturers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are responsible for monitoring reports of unexpected reactions to prescription drugs. However, there is no requirement that either the FDA or the manufacturers must directly notify the individual drug users of any potential problems associated with a given medication. Instead, both agencies will notify health care practitioners, including pharmacists, that there may be a problem with a given drug.
As a general rule, the company that manufactured the drug in question is liable for any injuries suffered by those that have used that drug on the advice of their health care provider. If, however, the health care provider prescribes the wrong medication for a given condition, or a prescription drug that is known to cause harmful side effects when combined with a medication that the patient is already using, the provider may be held liable. In most cases of personal injury due to alleged prescription negligence, the drug manufacturer is challenged in a class action lawsuit.
A class action lawsuit is a suit filed with the federal courts that “combines” or “brings together before the court” a given “class” of plaintiffs, such as those suing Company X for damages caused by its product, Drug Y. The rules that govern class action lawsuits can be complex and are best described by a personal injury lawyer on a case by case basis.
If you think that you may have been the victim of prescription negligence by a health care provider, or that a medication has caused you harm, your first step should be a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Only personal injury lawyers will be familiar with the intricacies of the legal system that is designed to protect your rights as a consumer as well as your right to recover damages for injuries you may have suffered due to prescription drug negligence.
While compensation may not correct the harm you suffered, it may help relieve the economic burden prescription negligence caused. When you turn to our law firm for help, we put our experience to work to protect your legal rights and help you recover damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering and loss of wages. If you have been the victim of prescription negligence, call our law firm at ( 305 ) 448 – 7333. We will be happy to provide a case evaluation at no cost to you.