What to Do If You Were Harmed by a Dangerous Drug

Jul 31, 2020
by The AMA Law Team

What to Do If You Were Harmed by a Dangerous Drug

Every year, countless new prescription medications hit the market. Healthcare experts and scientists engineer, manufacture, and mass-produce hundreds of prescriptions to help those suffering from diseases or other ailments. Many people rely on these medications to live a comfortable life. However, all drugs come with inherent risks. Unfortunately, there are many cases when prescription medications lead to severe injuries and, in extreme cases, death, which are referred to as dangerous drug cases. People often view dangerous drugs as illicit drugs or illegal narcotics like heroin or cocaine, but prescription drugs can also be dangerous drugs.

Whenever a healthcare expert creates a new drug for medical purposes, it must go through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) will then go through a long and arduous process to ensure the drug works as intended, and its health benefits outweigh the risks. They also ensure that no dishonest practice went into the creation of this drug, as well as providing doctors and patients with information about how to use the medication safely. Unfortunately, a host of things can go wrong, whether through manufacturing, distribution, or prescription, that lead to adverse outcomes.

Many people turn to prescription medications to help them with an ailment and to improve their quality of life. When these drugs fail to do so and threaten the lives of the patient, many parties can be held responsible. If you were the victim of a dangerous drug, contact the dangerous drug attorneys at AMA Law and let us fight for you.

What is a Dangerous Drug?

As we said earlier, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) is responsible for making sure all drugs are safe to use for medical purposes. It is the CDER’s responsibility to ensure that the drug in question is safe to use and works as scientists designed. Drug companies must run tests of their own before they try to sell the drug, however, proving it is safe and effective. After these tests are complete, they must hand over the results to the CDER, who then reviews the data and verifies its safety.

While no drug can enter the market that the FDA has not approved, several things can still go wrong that lead to dangerous or defective drugs. In many cases, these FDA approved drugs are improperly manufactured. Often, a contaminant is the cause of a defective drug, leading to severe injury and illness.

Off label” drugs are also another example of a dangerous drug, as well as medical malpractice. In these cases, a doctor or another individual with appropriate authorization prescribes medication for a condition other than what a patient has, often leading to dangerous, potentially fatal side effects. If you were the victim of an “off label” drug, a medical malpractice attorney like those at AMA LAW can help you seek compensation.

Side Effects

In 2019 alone, there were 2,191,808 adverse drug reactions in the United States, according to the FDA. These reactions are often the result of a variety of different drugs. Opioids are common in defective drug cases. In Oklahoma, there were 67,367 drug overdoses in 2018. Opioids made up nearly 70% of all drug overdoses at 46,802. As you can see, adverse reactions to defective drugs can be fatal. For those that do not lead to death, some of the most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Rashes

Dangerous drugs can also lead to more significant diseases and conditions, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease or failure
  • Liver damage
  • Lung disease
  • Depression or other mental health conditions
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Death

If you were the victim of a defective drug, having the aid of a medical malpractice attorney will help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact AMA Law and let us help.

Dangerous Drugs AMA Law Files Claims For

Every year, new prescription drugs hit the market. Most of these drugs provide countless medical benefits to those in need, but there is a handful that leads to adverse reactions. Many drugs have had a dangerous drug claim filed against them over the years. AMA Law has handled many of our own. Some of the most common we have dealt with include:

  • Talcum Powder: The product has recently been linked to many cases of ovarian cancer found in women. The talc in this powder has also been linked to cases of mesothelioma.
  • Taxotere: This breast cancer chemotherapy drug has been linked to permanent hair loss in breast cancer patients.
  • Uloric: This gout medication has raised concerns about the cardiovascular health risks of its use, including heart disease and even death.
  • Valsartan and Losartan: Both of these high blood pressure medications had recalls due to the risk of cancer-causing chemicals in their formula.

If you were the victim of any of the above drugs, contact AMA Law to file a dangerous drug claim.

Filing a Dangerous Drug Claim

The goal of prescription drugs is to aid those suffering from a wide array of medical conditions. While all medications have risks, their health benefits outweigh these risks. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Many of these risks cause side effects that lead to severe injuries or illnesses and even death. There are different classifications for dangerous drug claims in Oklahoma, including:

  • Design Defects: When a patient uses a drug correctly, and that drug is unreasonably dangerous, there may be a defect in its design or formula. Because the FDA must approve a drug before it reaches the market, these cases are rare.
  • Manufacturing Defect: After the FDA approves a drug, it then goes through production. The design is safe, but something goes wrong during the manufacturing process. Often, a contaminant is the cause of the defect.
  • Marketing Defect: A marketing defect occurs when a manufacturer markets a drug for incorrect usage or fails to warn doctors or patients of the inherent risks.

Who is Liable?

Whenever a defective drug leads to injuries or illnesses, any of the people or companies involved in the creation, manufacturing, or distribution of the drug can have a dangerous drug claim filed against them. The statute of limitations in the state of Oklahoma for a dangerous drug claim is two years from the date you first discover your injury or illness. If you file before the two years are up, you can hold the drug manufacturer, the prescribing doctor, the pharmacy, or the testing laboratory liable for your injuries.

However, to ensure you claim is a success, you must be able to prove that:

  • You correctly followed the directions your doctor gave you.
  • An injury or illness occurred.
  • The drug you took was a direct cause of your injury or illness.
  • The defect in the drug was the cause of your injury or illness.

To file a dangerous drug or medical malpractice claim, you should:

  • First, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Collect information about the prescription that you believe caused your injury.
  • Provide information about the prescribing doctor and pharmacy.
  • Collect information detailing the side effects and the treatment you are receiving, as well as insurance claims.
  • If possible, look for advertisements for the drug you are taking to look for false marketing.

Prescription drugs aim to aid those suffering from an array of illnesses. When they don’t, they often lead to severe injuries and illnesses. Many parties can be held liable for these damages. If you were the victim of medical malpractice or a dangerous drug, contact the dangerous drug attorneys at AMA Law.