The process for testing and gaining approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for new prescription and over-the-counter drugs has become more hurried than ever. In the highly competitive drug industry, manufacturers realize the potential of making money the faster their drugs are approved for sale and introduced into the market.
As a result, some dangerous and defective drugs are prescribed and cause serious health complications to unsuspecting patients.
Even if the benefits of a given prescription drug outweigh its side effects, each patient may react differently, which can result in a debilitating condition or even death. Sometimes preliminary studies or clinical trials may be incomplete, and the full spectrum of potential side effects is not discovered. This can result in a dangerous reaction for unsuspecting patients.
FDA-Issued Black Box Warnings and Drug Recalls
If the FDA determines that a drug is too dangerous for the public to use, if it has caused widespread injuries and death for example, it will issue a recall. More commonly, the FDA requires the manufacturer of a dangerous drug to include a “black box warning” on the labeling information. These warnings highlight the most serious potential risks and side effects, in an effort to limit potential serious injury from the use of a given drug. A black box warning is primarily directed at doctors and other health care professionals, providing information that should be communicated when prescribing these medications to patients.
An FDA-issued drug recall is directed at consumers who are taking the drug. Recalls often provide instructions on how to safely stop taking the drug, where to return or how to destroy unused product, and advice about alternative treatments.
If You Become Injured
If you suffer an injury because of a dangerous pharmaceutical or defective drug, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. This may include the drug manufacturer, marketing company, pharmacist, or doctor who prescribed the medication.
Defective drug claims usually fall into one of the following categories:
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Types of Dangerous Drugs
There is an extensive list of defective drugs, but some of the most common include:
- Paxil, Zoloft and other SSRIs
- Levaquin and other fluoroquinones
- Bisphosphonates (including Fosamax, Boniva, Arava)
- Proton Pump Inhibitors
- Crestor, Zocor, and Lipitor