Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Monday, May 29, 2017

Understanding Your Rights When Injured by Pharmaceutical Products

Prescription medications are part of the everyday lives of millions of Americans. Many take these pharmaceutical products to cure or contain some form of illness or condition. However, sometimes, these drugs end up harming the bodies of unsuspecting patients. This happens either because the drug was defective, was improperly labeled and marketed or had dangerous side effects.

If you or a loved one has been injured or even hospitalized because of a dangerous or defective drug, you can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the drug and get compensation for all your medical expenses and pain and suffering. Consult an experienced New York pharmaceutical injury lawyer today to learn more about your rights.

America is Overprescribed

A 2015 survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 119 million Americans aged 12 and above were taking prescription psychotherapeutic drugs; 45 percent of the population is on pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants.

Another study by the Center for Disease Control reported that between 2009 and 2012, 48.7 percent of adult Americans had used one prescription drug in the past month, 21.8 percent had used three or more in the past month and 10.7 percent had used five or more in the past month. The percentages were remarkably higher for Americans aged above 45 years. 

Prescription drugs can be dangerous.

The average prescription has 70 potential reactions. In 2011, 4.2 billion prescriptions were written, that’s 13 prescriptions per American on average. That same year 16 percent of hospitalizations were related to adverse reactions to medicines.

What Are Your Rights When Injured by Pharmaceutical Products?

Drug-related injuries could be traced to either of the following:

  1. Defective Prescription Drugs

    Pharmaceutical manufacturers owe a duty of care to patients to design and manufacture drugs that are safe for use.

    Sometimes, negligence or lapses in quality control lead to a defectively designed or manufactured prescription drug. A drug may be tainted before bottling, contaminated during distribution or compromised at the pharmacy or retailer. If a defective drug causes an injury, then anyone in the chain of distribution of the drug, from the manufacturer to the distributor to the hospital pharmacy, can be held liable. 

  2. Dangerous Side Effects

    Most prescription drugs, including those approved by the FDA, have side effects. Some side effects can be very dangerous. Avandia was a popular diabetes drug, up until the FDA released documents linking it to heart attacks. Pradaxa was marketed as a safe blood thinner but was later linked to severe internal bleeding and death. More recently, a study published in the British Medical Journal linked Yaz birth control pills to blood clot injuries and pulmonary embolisms.

    Manufacturers of prescription drugs should sufficiently warn consumers of all side effects and health risks associated with a drug. They should also give appropriate dosage instructions. Failure to do so may lead to consumer lawsuits.

  3. Improper Marketing of Drugs
    Sometimes, pharmaceutical manufacturers allow drugs to be marketed for uses other than those for whom it was approved. Consumers may be misled that a certain supplement causes weight loss. This “bad advice” enriches manufacturers and exposes consumers to health injuries.

    Manufacturers who improperly market their drugs through labels or recommendations can be held responsible for injuries resulting from the bad advice.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective pharmaceutical drug, get proper medical attention immediately. Afterward, give us a call at 1-844-855-HURT to consult with a New York pharmaceutical injury lawyer to determine your rights.

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