Florida Defective Drug Lawyers
Fighting to Hold Negligent Pharmaceutical Companies Accountable
Before a prescription drug can be marketed in the U.S., it is put through a series of trials and must gain the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once the drug has been placed on the market, the FDA continues to monitor it through post-marketing reports sent in by the manufacturer and through the MedWatch program, an FDA program that allows consumers and healthcare professionals to report serious side effects, quality control issues, and medical errors associated with drugs and products regulated by the FDA.
Sometimes an unanticipated side effect manifests itself once the drug has already made it onto the U.S. market. If the side effect is serious enough, the FDA may issue a warning to the public and/or request that changes be made to the drug’s label. If the side effect is extremely serious and the FDA decides that the risks of the drug outweigh its benefits, then the FDA may recall the drug.
If you or a loved one suffered complications, injuries, or illness after being prescribed a pharmaceutical drug, even if that drug was not recalled, reach out to the Florida defective drug lawyers at Michles & Booth as soon as possible. We can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation for your damages and, if so, can immediately begin building a product liability case on your behalf.
How Defective Drugs Get onto the Consumer Market
Many commonly prescribed medications on the market today have been recalled due to drug defects that cause serious adverse side effects including death. In many cases, the drug manufacturers are aware of the dangers their products pose but choose to conceal this important safety information from the public. If a significant number of serious injuries or deaths are reported in relation to certain drugs, the FDA launches an investigation to determine whether the drug is defective.
When the serious dangers of a drug are discovered, however, it is not always taken off the market. In many cases, a warning is added to the labeling, and the drug continues to be sold and prescribed to consumers who may not be aware of the dangers posed by their medication.
Unfortunately, many drug manufacturers, driven by money, will streamline test information and downplay or conceal adverse side effects found in their studies in an effort to speed up FDA approval. Furthermore, once the FDA is reviewing the drug, they may fail to conduct adequate follow-up research or they simply may not have enough time to perform a rigorous screening of the product, leading to the approval of defective drugs. Many researchers who publish the findings of clinical drug trials are not given all the data available, which can lead to a skewed safety profile about the drug.
Liability in Defective Drug Cases
Drug manufacturing companies have a responsibility to adequately test each product before seeking FDA approval. In addition, drug labels must properly disclose all information about the drug and warn consumers of potential side effects to reduce the risks of misuse and adverse events. In many cases, the flaws in defective drugs are based on design or manufacturing inadequacies. Under strict product liability laws, drug manufacturers may be held liable for any serious injuries or deaths caused by their products, regardless of the care they took to prevent defects.
How to Know If a Drug Is Dangerous/Defective
The process to recall a drug is arduous because extensive research is needed to prove that the risks of a defective drug outweigh the benefits. In fact, many drugs on the market today pose serious side effects to the millions of people who continue to take them.
The list of dangerous drugs changes on an almost daily basis. Our Florida defective drug lawyers monitor the literature and are up-to-date on the most dangerous drugs on the market today. Some drugs carry a “black box” warning, the strictest health warning short of a recall used to alert consumers to the serious risks associated with the drug. These days, however, consumers need to be proactive about gathering important safety information about the drugs they take. With the advent of the internet, a wealth of information about prescription drugs is available.
Reducing Your Risk
Unfortunately, if you take prescription medications, you are at risk to the dangers they may pose.
However, there are certain steps you can take to help reduce the chances of injury from a defective drug:
- The most important thing you can do is communicate with your doctor or healthcare professional. Be sure to give your complete medical history, a list of the current drugs and supplements you are using, and your lifestyle information. Also, ask questions about the risks and benefits of taking the medication. The more information you have, the more you are able to prevent errors that may lead to injury.
- Never take medications that are not prescribed to you. Never start, change, or stop taking a medication without medical supervision. Abruptly stopping the use of a drug, even if the drug is defective, could result in serious adverse reactions.
- Be sure to take drugs only as intended. In addition, speak with your doctor to weigh the benefits against the risks of each drug you may take as it pertains to your individual case.
If you or a family member has suffered serious harm from a defective drug, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Don’t be a victim twice. Let Michles & Booth help you understand your rights.
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