Drug companies make sales by advertising directly to patients. Rather than allowing doctors to prescribe drugs as they see fit, many patients look through advertisements for drugs that can help alleviate symptoms, and then ask their doctors to prescribe these medications. This is why it’s so important for drug companies to be honest about side effects; if patients aren’t aware of potential dangers, they might convince their doctors to let them try a drug that causes serious problems.
Drug companies need to fully disclose risks associated with their drugs. For example, if a drug sometimes leads to internal bleeding, as Pradaxa litigation asserts, the drug company needs to provide clear warnings about this problem. Warnings should be on the prescription’s label as well as in advertisements for the drug.
Unfortunately, drug companies often neglect this important responsibility. Some drug companies circulate internal memos about potential dangers but don’t warn consumers about them. As a result, patients take the drug without realizing the risks and end up getting seriously ill. When this happens, the patients are often entitled to compensation for their injuries.
When a lot of patients develop the same symptoms, the FDA sometimes gets involved and investigates the drugs. However, FDA investigations can take years, and the FDA is often slow to act. Sometimes lawsuits are the better option to protect the public against unethical behavior from drug companies.
Defective Drug Problems
Even if a company issues proper warnings on a drug, patients can still get hurt if the drug is not manufactured correctly. Defective drugs can cause people to overdose or cause more and more serious side effects.
When this happens, patients are usually entitled to compensation because they were injured by the drug company’s mistake. Drug companies often voluntarily recall defective or defectively made drugs. However, some patients may not be aware of the recall and continue to take the drugs. Other patients may have already been injured by the time the recall happens. In both cases, patients may be entitled to compensation.
Interactions with OTC Drugs
Many prescription drugs interact poorly with over-the-counter drugs, which can lead to drug-related injuries. In addition to standard over-the-counter drugs, many drugs interact poorly with alcohol. Since alcohol is present at many social occasions, drug companies should warn people about this possibility as well.
Some drugs cause people to get into accidents because of side effects. For example, certain drugs may make people too drowsy to safely operate an automobile. If a person is unaware of this side effect and causes an accident by driving after taking the drug, the drug company is usually liable.
Drug companies must take every eventuality in mind when crafting warning labels. Ideally, the warning label should tell consumers every potential side effect and what drugs interact poorly–including over-the-counter drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, many drug companies leave some of this information out, either on purpose or by accident. If a consumer is injured by taking a drug that did not contain proper warnings, the drug company is liable for damages.
Shelby Warden is a researcher and contributing author for Doyle Raizner LLP, a personal injury law firm evaluating claims for Pradaxa victims. If you or a loved one has been taking this medication, it is important to learn whether you might be a good candidate for the Pradaxa litigation. Several of Doyle Raizner´s attorneys have worked for large defense firms, including pharmaceutical companies like Boehringer Ingelheim, so they are familiar with how hard they fight and will fight just as hard for you.