At their very best, drugs are supposed to help people who are sick or injured. Unfortunately, many drugs can cause serious side effects. In some cases, filing a lawsuit is the best recourse if someone is injured because of side effects from a drug that are a result of negligence by a medical professional or pharmaceutical company.
Pharmaceutical companies earn tremendously high profits. For example, the Pfizer made $245 billion between 2004 and 2008. Eli Lilly made $36 billion during the same period from just one drug (Zyprexa). By comparison, the fines paid out by the biggest drug companies was only around $7 billion between 2004 and 2010.
Profits Versus Consequences Ratio Drives Drug Companies
In some cases, this can make them reckless because of how quickly they rush new drugs to the market. The benefits versus monetary fines and consequences ratio help to make drug companies irresponsible regarding the creation and release of new drugs.
Unfortunately, consumers are the ones who pay the highest costs. Each and every day, Americans are either hurt or killed by prescription drugs that probably shouldn’t be on the market.
The FDA approves around 24 new drugs per year, including many with serious side effects and long-term health risks. These dangerous drugs get onto the market due to dishonest clinical trials, not reporting negative results and other flawed conduct by the drug companies. Other problems include using just a small group of test subjects and only studying the drugs and side effects for a short period.
Legal Action and Compensation is Possible
Filing a lawsuit is often the only recourse that injured persons have against unethical drug companies. In many cases, dangerous drugs can cause injuries and chronic conditions that greatly reduce a person’s quality of life. In some cases, the result can be death. Lawsuits in these cases play an important role in ensuring that these companies face consequences for their negligent actions.
Some of the most dangerous drugs regarding injuries and lawsuits filed include many SSRI antidepressants, the mood stabilizer Depakote, and Type 2 diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia.
The birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, Accutane for acne, osteoporosis treatment Fosamax, blood thinners Xarelto and Pradaxa, dialysis drugs NaturaLyte and GranuFlo, and the hair loss drug Propecia have also had negative effects on those who take them.
Side effects of these drugs can include suicidal thoughts and behavior, liver damage, birth defects, blood clots, Crohn’s disease, bleeding, stroke, heart failure and various types of cancer. We will look at some of the most dangerous drugs and their side effects in a bit more detail here:
Antidepressants, SSRIs and Mood Stabilizers Lawsuits
Antidepressants are some of the worst offenders when it comes to dangerous side effects. Prozac made by Eli Lilly can cause serotonin syndrome and can also increase suicidal thinking and behavior. This is particularly alarming since this drug is supposed to help people who are having emotional or psychological problems. Over 150 lawsuits have been filed against the drug’s parent company Eli Lilly. It has also shown risks to unborn babies during pregnancy,
Like Prozac, the SSRI Paxil can increase suicidal ideation in some people. It is still on the market, and its maker GlaxoSmithKline has affixed it with a black-box warning. Effexor can cause hostility, thoughts of suicide and birth defects; it also comes with a black label. The antidepressant Zoloft can cause suicidal thoughts, violent behaviors, and birth defects. Lexapro and the mood stabilizer Depakote can also cause birth defects.
Diabetes Drug Dangers
Type 2 diabetes drugs can also bring dangerous side effects to the user. The drug Avandia can cause heart attacks, and Actos raises the risk of heart failure and bladder cancer. Thousands of people who have taken these drugs have already filed lawsuits due to complications suffered.
Birth Control Pill Risks
The birth control pills Yaz, (Yasmine) also comes with a range of serious problems for women. Yaz increases the risk of blood clots which can lead to heart attack, stroke or vein thrombosis.
Testosterone replacement drugs like AngroGel double the risk of heart attacks in the men who take it. The risk is even higher for men who have preexisting heart conditions.
Statin drugs taken for high cholesterol such as Crestor can cause side effects like muscle tissue damage, abnormal bleeding, and kidney failure.
Blood Thinner Issues
Blood thinners like Pradaxa and Xarelto are supposed to help reduce the risk of stroke. In the past, most people took warfarin.
However, these new drugs required less maintenance than warfarin, so people flocked to it. Unfortunately, they were found to cause large bleeding issues as well as the risk of heart problems.
Acne pills like Accutane have serious side effects like inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, liver damage, gastrointestinal disorders, birth defects and suicidal thoughts.
Fosamax by Merck has been found to cause severe side effects like ONJ, inflammation, and ulcers of the esophagus, joint and muscle pain and atrial fibrillation.
Pain Medication Risks
Pain medications like Vioxx are made to help with inflammation and suffering. However, many pain medications come with serious risks and side effects such as a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Reglan was created to treat migraines as well as digestive problems. However, it can cause serious neurological problems that can, in turn, lead to rapid and uncontrollable body movements that inhibit normal functioning.
People who are facing kidney failure and who are receiving dialysis treatments have benefited from drugs like NaturaLyte and GranuFlo. It is estimated that about half of all dialysis patients use these drugs during their dialysis procedure. Unfortunately, if dialysis machines are not calibrated properly, clients can end up with excessive acid in their blood. This can result in organ damage, cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmia, a coma, or even death.
Hair Loss Pill
Men who are facing hair loss were thrilled to have access to drugs like Proscar and Propecia, which helped to re-grow hair. Unfortunately, these drugs can also cause erectile dysfunction and other serious sexual side effects. Even after ceasing to use these drugs, men can still have disorders related to their sexuality for months or years afterward. These drugs have also been linked with a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Clearly, the behavior of drug companies can sometimes be quite reckless. With negative results of clinical trials overlooked and not reported, all too many dangerous drugs end up getting approved. As a result, doctors prescribe them to all too many patients, sometimes with tragic results.
Holding the drug companies accountable in a court of law is the best way to teach them a lesson. Doing so can also help to prevent them from harming others with defective and dangerous drugs.
If you’ve sustained injuries due to a prescription drug, you do have rights and protections under the law. An experienced attorney can assist with determining legal rights and if you have a case. Meet with a lawyer to find out if filing a lawsuit is the right course of action. You just might be entitled to a substantial settlement for your injuries, missed work and pain and suffering.