For a wide variety of healthcare issues, people in Minnesota and around the U.S. use medications. Billions of drugs are prescribed at retail pharmacies annually, and many are also administered in hospitals, clinics, and other facilities. Along with using one or more prescription drugs, Americans also regularly purchase over-the-counter (OTC) products, with roughly 80 percent of American adults buying OTC drugs from among hundreds of thousands of options.
Even though therapeutic drugs can save lives or improve quality of life, what happens when they cause harm? Patients and their loved ones deserve answers about medication-related deaths or injuries.
One of the causes of adverse drug events is the use of a drug that’s defective or dangerous. If you’re in St. Paul or any part of Minnesota, don’t hesitate to speak with Minnesota attorneys who are experienced in cases of medical negligence and product liability, including the life-threatening problem of defective drugs.
Defective Drugs: What Are Some of the Causes?
In many cases involving defective drugs, pharmaceutical companies are responsible for preventable harm to patients. The harmful actions of drug manufacturers can take a variety of forms, including the following:
- The company failed to provide accurate and thorough information about side effects or any other risks involved in taking a drug. These risks include the effect a drug may have on someone with a specific medical history, or the harmful ways a drug might interact with other medications, food, and beverages.
- The drug wasn’t properly tested prior to becoming available.
- The company didn’t comply with regulatory requirements for the drug.
- During the manufacturing, packaging, or distribution processes, the drug became contaminated or flawed in other ways.
- The company engaged in irresponsible marketing practices. These include misleading claims, inappropriate recommendations for use, and an absence of necessary warnings. The FDA provides a few examples of violations in prescription drug advertising.
There may be more than one company sharing responsibility for the defective drug. The liable parties may also include laboratories where clinical trials for the drug were conducted.
Doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical sales representatives may also wind up being investigated as part of your case. For example, your doctor may have failed to disclose the potentially harmful effects of a drug, or they may have engaged in off-label prescribing that fell short of standards of care. Another possibility is that the drug you took was contaminated at the pharmacy and not due to preventable mistakes on the part of the manufacturer.
With analytical skills and an in-depth knowledge of Minnesota law, your attorney will help you determine who is responsible for the injuries you or your loved ones suffered from a drug. From the stages of testing and production to the moment the drug is delivered to you for use, multiple parties could have been involved in rendering the drug defective or dangerous to you.
What Are the Possible Harms of a Defective Drug?
One study found that between 2006 and 2014, serious adverse drug events reported to the FDA doubled. They led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, disabilities, and other negative health outcomes. When it comes to using defective drugs, the following are some of the possible harms:
- Various types of organ damage and malfunctions, including kidney failure, brain damage from strokes, and heart attacks.
- Internal bleeding.
- Addiction. (A prevalent example is the crisis of opioid abuse and addiction in Minnesota and the rest of the U.S., and the allegations that pharmaceutical companies misled the public about the dangers of their prescription opioid painkillers.)
- Birth defects and pregnancy complications.
- Allergic reactions.
The costs to patients and their families can be extensive and include:
- Steep bills from ambulance rides, trips to the emergency room, hospital stays, surgeries, outpatient medical visits, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and medical devices and assistive technologies.
- Funeral expenses in cases of fatality. The victim’s loved ones may also suffer from the loss of companionship, income, and care that result from the wrongful death.
- The financial losses that stem from missing work, getting fired, or losing the ability to work following a defective drug injury.
- Expensive changes in living arrangements, including the need to hire a home health aide or modify one’s home to accommodate a wheelchair.
- Stressful and costly changes to one’s way of life, including damage to relationships, diminished opportunities to participate in social activities, and an inability to finish school.
Building a Defective Drug Case
Experiencing a poor health outcome isn’t enough for a legal case. At minimum, you must prove that you or your loved one suffered an injury, and that this injury stemmed from the use of a specific drug.
Experienced attorneys know what evidence is required to build a strong case. They can also anticipate and defend against the kinds of arguments that may be brought against you. These may include claims that you ignored clear warnings about the drug, didn’t use it safely, or experienced injuries due to other causes.
Your attorney can help you handle all the complexities of your case, including:
- Investigations of companies, individuals, and drug products.
- Various pieces of evidence, which may range from your personal medical records to internal documents from pharmaceutical companies.
- The construction of strong arguments in your favor.
- All the relevant paperwork and deadlines.
- Calculations of fair compensation for your injuries and their effects on your life.
- Preparations for court appearances and other demands brought on by your case.
- Guidance on various decisions, including whether or not to accept a settlement.
Contact Swor & Gatto
If you suspect that you’ve suffered from a defective drug, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation about your case. With top attorneys working for you, you’ll increase the chances of an outcome that’s favorable to you.
What can you expect from us?
- Personal, compassionate attention to your case.
- Dedication to your needs.
- Fierce advocacy.
- Powerful skills, a command of the relevant legal knowledge, and the benefits of extensive experience.
We prioritize your well-being and can arrange to meet with you at home or at the hospital. As much as possible, we remove the obstacles that may keep you from pursuing your case and demanding accountability for your drug-related injuries.