How a Top-Rated Dangerous Drugs Lawyer Can Help You
Medications and drugs are an important healthcare tool used by physicians to treat illnesses and fight diseases. Without medications and drugs, countless people may die or suffer unnecessarily. However, when your doctor prescribes medications, or you purchase an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, do you wonder how safe the drug is for you to take? All drugs have side effects, but these side effects are not dangerous, are they? Who warns us about dangerous drugs and what should I do if a dangerous drug injures me?
Below is information about dangerous drugs and what you should do if you believe a drug or medication injured you. The dangerous drug attorneys of The Clark Law Office encourage you to contact our office by calling 517-347-6900 if you have additional questions. We offer a free consultation so that you can get answers to the above questions and other questions you might have about filing a personal injury claim due to a drug injury claim.
Who is Monitoring Drugs in the United States?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews applications for drugs and medications from drug manufacturers. Consumers typically assume that if the FDA approves a drug, then the medication is safe to use. There could be some side effects, but overall the drug is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
A study in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) found that approximately one-third of the FDA-approved drugs between 2001 and 2010 were involved in a safety event after the drugs were placed on the market and sold to consumers. Three of the drugs were pulled from the market, and 59 drugs required some type of communication to warn consumers about potential risks associated with the product’s safety. In 61 of the cases, the FDA required the drug manufacturer to add a Black Box Warning to the drug’s package. A Black Box Warning is intended to notify consumers of the potential for serious or life-threatening risks associated with using the drug.
How Do Dangerous Drugs Get to Market?
Before a drug is approved for marketing to the public, a drug manufacturer should conduct stringent testing and trials to ensure the drug is safe for its intended use. In addition, the trials are designed to identify potential side effects or risks associated with using the medication. The study published in the JAMA noted that many of the drugs tested received FDA approval after being tested on 1,000 or fewer patients. When drugs are marketed to the public, other side effects or risks are often discovered when a wider range of individuals begins using the medication. Therefore, even though the FDA reviews the clinical trials provided to the agency by the drug manufacturer, the “real world test” may produce results that were not anticipated.
Because drugs have different effects on different people, drug manufacturers should continue to test drugs and monitor post-market reports of adverse effects. If the drug manufacturer becomes aware of a side effect or risk associated with its drug, the manufacturer should take steps to notify the public of the risk or pull the drug from the market depending on the level of danger posed by using the drug. Unfortunately, that does not always occur.
The FDA monitors post-market adverse reports for medications that might require additional product labeling, or in the worst scenario, a drug recall. MedWatch is an FDA program that compiles, and reviews reports filed by health care professionals and consumers related to side-effects, deaths, and other adverse events associated with using a specific medication. Based on the information the FDA receives from numerous sources, the FDA may recall a product, require additional information on the drug’s label, or issue a safety alert. You can locate information about potentially dangerous drugs on the FDA’s website.
What Can I Do If a Dangerous Drug Injures Me?
Pharmaceuticals generate billions of dollars in profits for companies each year. Therefore, some of these companies have an incentive to rush products through the testing and trial phase to obtain FDA approval. In some cases, a drug manufacturer may withhold some information from the FDA to ensure that their drug is approved for marketing to consumers.
In other cases, pharmaceutical companies hire drug representatives to aggressively “push” their drugs to doctors. Some drug reps pitch their drugs for “off-label” use. Off-label use means prescribing the drug for a condition or use that is not approved by the FDA. In some cases, prescribing drugs for off-label use can be extremely dangerous because it can cause life-threatening conditions for the patient. Other reasons why you might receive a dangerous drug without understanding fully the risks and side-effects associated with the drug include: