Los Angeles Attorneys Handling Dangerous Drug Cases
If You Faced Unexpected Side Effects from a Drug, You May Be Able to Sue
Even the strictest tests for pharmaceuticals cannot catch manufacturing mistakes or contamination issues that might occur down the line. Nor can they catch certain side effects that may become more noticeable in a larger subject pool. In some cases, manufacturers conceal or downplay dangers attached to certain substances.
In all of these cases, when a drug is determined to:
- introduce dangers that were not warned for,
- include contamination,
- lack proper packaging or labeling, and/or
- face new evidence that it may harm humans,
it may be recalled by the manufacturer.
Often, these recalls come too late for many patients. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP ) analyzed FDA data and determined that around 27% of drugs are given new warnings or taken off the market in the first 16 years after their introduction. These protective measures typically do not occur until 5 years have passed. Over this time, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of patients may be prescribed medications that harm them in some way.
Patients Are Injured by Defective and Dangerous Drugs
Whether a drug uses an active ingredient that can harm people or was contaminated during manufacturing, those who are given defective medications may end up with lasting side effects. These products can be to blame for symptoms including:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Kidney damage and failure
- Liver damage and failure
- Birth defects
Do You Know How Recalls Happen?
One report of a dangerous side effect isn’t enough for a drug to be pulled off the shelf. In fact, all drug recalls are made at the discretion of the manufacturer. The FDA can recommend dangerous drugs be pulled from the shelves and issue warnings to consumers, but they cannot force pharmacies and stores to stop selling the products or contact patients who are already taking them. This means consumers can be exposed to drugs that are already known to be dangerous—just because a pharmaceutical company wants to keep making money by selling them.
The FDA also has limited resources to analyze drugs and issue recalls. Between 2016 and 2018, the rate of manufacturer inspections in the U.S. decreased by almost 15%. Third-party labs may step up to share worrisome test results, which is what launched the Zantac recall, but they are not a source for regular examination of all drugs on the market. This is the reason many harmful drugs have slipped through the regulatory net and made it into patients’ medicine cabinets.
Classes of Drug Recalls
Not all drug recalls have the same level of urgency. The FDA assigns a class to each so pharmacies, physicians, and consumers know how serious the issue is.
- Class 1: These recalls apply to medications or devices that could include flaws that would be fatal to patients.
- Class 2: Most recalls are in this class, meaning they can cause serious, but reversible, symptoms.
- Class 3: Often, drugs recalled under this category are unlikely to cause harm but may include manufacturing defects.
- Market Withdrawal: Used for medications that have negligible issues, a market withdrawal can result in products being removed from the shelf or a slight change in process to address a minor complaint.
Drug Recalls That May Affect You
Among the hundreds of drugs recalled each year, some are for niche medications that serve a small patient population. Others may be widespread but carry low risks of serious symptoms. Our attorneys focus on helping patients who used medications with severe side effects. We’ve filed claims surrounding:
If you show symptoms that have already been linked to a defective drug or have been taking a medication that receives a Class 1 or 2 recall, we suggest you speak with an attorney. If you develop severe health issues, you may be able to ask a negligent manufacturer to cover your medical costs and more.
Holding Pharmaceutical Companies Accountable for Dangerous Drugs
It seems antithetical that an industry dedicated to helping the unwell may cause more harm. If you have suffered severe side effects from a drug you were told was safe, it is okay to feel hurt, angry, and betrayed. You should know that you are not alone in this situation—and there is help.
At Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation, we believe in holding companies accountable when they make choices that hurt consumers. Pharmaceutical companies often choose profits over people by ignoring warning signs and bypassing testing. If you are one of the patients affected by their negligence, you could have the right to take them to court. Not only can patients in this situation receive compensation; they can also warn others of the dangers attached to certain drugs or companies.