When Prescription Drugs Cause Injury
Hundreds of new prescription drugs enter the market every year. Each comes with promised benefits, as well as side-effect warnings.
While most of the drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) perform well, some turn out to be dangerous. When a prescription drug is found to have serious (or even fatal) side effects, the FDA issues a recall.
Victims of dangerous prescription drugs can suffer serious long-term injury or illness. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a prescription drug, a personal injury attorney can help. Learn how you can receive financial help as you work through the healing process.
What Is the FDA?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government organization set up to protect public health. The FDA supervises food and drug production the United States of America. With help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FDA investigates dangerous food and drug products. They prevent these products from entering the market.
What Is a Recall?
The FDA closely regulates the manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs. For a drug to receive FDA approval, it must pass laboratory tests, animal tests, and finally human tests. The drug manufacturer then sends the FDA drug testing, labeling, and manufacturing information. Products that pass the FDA’s review receive approval.
You can find a list of 2014’s FDA-approved drugs at Center Watch’s website (http://www.centerwatch.com/druginformation/fda-approved-drugs/).
Sometimes, though, a drug has serious side effects that are not discovered until after the drug is on the market. A prescription drug recall happens when either the drug manufacturer or the FDA finds a drug to be dangerous to the consumer. They then issue an order to remove the drug from the market.
There are three types of prescription drug recalls:
- Class I: prescription drugs that can cause death or serious injury or illness
- Class II: prescription drugs that cause temporary (but reversible) illness
- Class III: prescription drugs that violate FDA regulations but are not likely to cause illness or injury
Which Prescription Drugs Has the FDA Recalled?
In 2013 and 2014, the FDA recalled over 2,000 prescription drugs. (To view a chart of the number of recalls from the past ten years, visit this article from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (http://www.raps.org/RegulatoryFocus/News/2014/08/11/20005/Number-of-Drug-Recalls-Surges-at-FDA-Led-by-Mid-Level-Concerns/).)
Some drug recalls are issued for improper packaging or testing, others for contamination. In each case, the FDA found the drug at issue to be dangerous to the consumer.
To view a complete list of prescription drug recalls, visit the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts webpage.
What If I Have Recalled Prescription Drugs?
Recalls stop production and sales of dangerous prescription drugs, but many people may still possess these drugs. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about what to do with the recalled product. Most stores will offer a refund for recalled prescription drugs.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me or a Loved One?
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of prescription drugs, you can seek out legal compensation. Personal injury lawyers have experience battling for the rights of victims of defective prescription drugs. A personal injury lawyer will investigate injuries caused by the drug. He or she will determine whether the victim can receive compensation and how to proceed with legal action. He or she will then develop a case to negotiate how the drug manufacturer can best compensate the victim.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a prescription drug, seek out a personal injury lawyer. With the proper legal counsel, you may be able to receive compensation.