When you take medication, you expect it to improve your condition. But sometimes, medicine has the opposite effect. Sometimes it can make illnesses worse, causing a new batch of symptoms that hadn’t previously existed.
Drug manufacturers are responsible for testing their products and making sure they are effective. They must include proper usage instructions on their labels and make patients aware of possible side effects. If they are not transparent in their packaging or fail to test their products adequately, they may be liable for damages.
Dan Pruitt has years of experience representing drug injury victims in the Greenville, South Carolina area. Read on to find out more about your rights.
Why Do Drug Injuries Happen?
When products are released on the market, they are usually approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Many people take it at face value that these drugs are safe to use.
Unfortunately, with so many products on the market, the FDA does not have time to test them all. They leave the testing up to companies who do not do a thorough job. And because pharmaceutical companies stand to make millions of dollars off new medications, they will do what they can to push them through.
Some unsafe drugs may make it to market because the company was not thorough in its testing. They may have used a sample that was too small to provide conclusive results.
There have also been cases where companies intentionally push a product through, knowing it is unsafe to make a profit.
What are Common Side Effects of Bad Prescription Drugs?
Many side effects may develop when taking prescription drugs that have not been thoroughly tested. Some may cause discomfort, while others are life-threatening. Here are some examples.
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Rashes and other skin issues
- Physical debilitation
- Heart conditions
Not all drugs get pulled from the shelves when they are found to cause these issues. In many cases, the FDA will simply ask the company to include warnings on the labels letting patients know about their risks before taking the drugs.
It is not uncommon for patients to be given harmful medications in a hospital setting or under the supervision of a medical professional. MedWatch is a voluntary program responsible for the surveillance of drugs that are on the market. Once they alert providers of the dangers associated with specific drugs, it is up to them to report adverse effects they see in their patients.
As you can imagine, the system is not very effective.
What are Manufacturer Liability Laws?
In South Carolina, drug manufacturers have a responsibility to:
- Test products and see to it that they are safe and free from defects before they are released on the market
- Label products to make consumers aware of any safety hazards or defects that exist
- Continually test products after they have been released to make sure there are no safety issues
If a company fails to live up to these responsibilities, and a consumer becomes injured, as a result, they have a right to sue.
What Constitutes a Product Liability Claim?
While the law is on the consumer’s side, it is difficult to account for how various people react to different drugs. Many gray areas can be encountered when trying to sue for damages. Here are some instances where an injured party will have a case.
Drugs may have a design defect if:
- The pharmaceutical company fails to properly test the medication to identify any risks that could reasonably be discovered.
- The company fails to truthfully communicate with the FDA during the approval process.
- The company fails to identify unsafe interactions with other drugs.
- The company fails to consider other, potentially safe alternatives.
Manufacturing defects include the following:
- Contamination of the drug could happen if something were added to the drug that should not have been or accidentally got into the medication during the manufacturing process.
- If the drug has improper dosage information and is stronger or weaker than it was designed to be.
- If the product was mislabeled so that it is missing important information or so that it has information for another drug.
- If a medical device is designed in a way that is not according to the approved plan, such as having a missing or faulty part.
Marketing defects involve products that are not labeled with the necessary warnings. For instance, if the label does not list harmful drug interactions and a patient takes the medication with a drug that produces side effects, the injured party may be able to sue the company.
Another example is if the company fails to warn the patient of potential side effects.
Going After At-Fault Parties
Winning a drug injury case is not easy. Many companies anticipate people having unpleasant side effects and include an entire laundry list of symptoms to cover their backs.
To prove your case, you will need to show:
- A medical record that shows the extent of your injury and proves it was caused by the medication.
- Documentation of the drug’s design and testing process.
- Documentation the company provided to the FDA during the drug’s approval process.
While it will be easy to access your medical record, it is considerably more difficult to get your hands on the other necessary documentation. It will help to have a lawyer on your side.
Why Dan Pruitt is the Best Choice for Your South Carolina Drug Injury Case
Proving a drug injury is not easy, but with the right legal representation, you will be in good shape to win your case.
Dan Pruitt is a Greenville, SC personal injury lawyer with the know-how to get the job done. He is not intimidated by large pharma companies. He will fight to bring you the best possible outcome.
Drug injuries can greatly reduce the quality of life. Don’t let big business get away with it. Call Dan Pruitt for a free consultation and the representation you need to win your case.