Prescription drugs make many people’s lives better — and for some people, they make life possible.
But with the flood of new drugs to market over the past decade and the FDA’s 1997 decision to allow pharmaceutical companies to market directly to consumers, prescription drug use is rising rapidly. Magazine pages are full of ads promoting prescription medications for everything from dry eyes to overactive bladder. Hardly a television program goes by without viewers being exhorted to tell their doctor they need something for high cholesterol or low-T.
Unfortunately, not all of the drugs on the market are prescribed appropriately or used safely. The drugs that are meant to help us often wind up harming us. According to the FDA, there are more than 2 million serious adverse reports each year stemming from prescription drug use, including 100,000 fatalities. This is now the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. A report from the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that 51% of all prescription drugs had serious side effects not recognized before they gained FDA approval.
If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed by an unsafe prescription drug, contact the Louthian Law Firm today at (803) 454-1200, or use the online message form to get a free evaluation of your case from a seasoned professional whose discipline, diligence and dedication could be the antidote you need against the corporate greed of Big Pharma.
Why are there risky pharmaceuticals on the market?
Because prescription drugs are so profitable, they are often raced to market without the independent testing needed to ensure that they are safe. Pharmaceutical companies may run their own studies, but because they have a financial incentive to come up with positive results, these cannot always be trusted. Companies downplay or even hide results of independent studies that show their drugs could be dangerous. Even when a medication is found to have serious health risks, it sometimes stays on the market with no penalties, relying only on a stricter warning label.
These are only a few of the prescription drugs that have been found to present a potential safety issue in recent years:
- Ortho Evra
Prescription drug injuries can be very serious.
They can affect the function of vital organs, causing heart attacks, high or low blood pressure, blood clots, liver damage, sexual dysfunction, vision impairment, and mobility issues. Some drugs cause psychiatric problems, such as violence and suicidal thoughts.
Not only can they affect the deepest and most vital parts of the human body, but in many cases, medical professionals may not realize that a patient’s illness was caused by a drug, causing them to lose precious treatment time. Indeed, the causes of some prescription drug injuries may not be apparent until months or years later, when independent scientists discover problems with the drug; in some tragic cases, patients have died from taking a prescription drug that was later found to have life-threatening side effects.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers can be held liable for improper labeling, unsafe side effects, inadequate testing, or production defects. Additionally, medical professionals who prescribe drugs for “off-label” use (i.e., for uses not approved by the FDA and listed on their packaging) can be sued for medical malpractice if these off-label uses lead to injury or death.
Patients should communicate clearly with their doctors and pharmacists about the medications they currently take and watch the FDA’s recall list for information about unsafe medications. But those who have already been injured have the right to take their case to a court of law; indeed a lawsuit may help prevent unsafe drugs still on the market from harming others. In a prescription drug injury lawsuit, you could win money to cover the medical costs that using the drug incurred; compensation for the serious injury or permanent disability of a loved one; and perhaps even punitive damages, which punish a manufacturer for deceptive or illegal practices.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for these lawsuits often starts before you discover the injuries, so time is of the essence.
Contact a Columbia, South Carolina Prescription Drug Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you care about was seriously injured by a prescription drug, you should speak with a South Carolina pharmaceutical litigation attorney at the Louthian Law Firm as soon as possible. We have been securing justice for hardworking people and families of South Carolina since 1959. A personal injury award won in court or through a negotiated settlement can help a person harmed by a dangerous drug move forward toward health and wholeness.
Because we know injured people are often suffering financially as well as physically, we never charge for an initial case evaluation. For a free consultation, call us today at (803) 454-1200, or fill out our convenient, confidential online case evaluation form.