The pharmaceutical sales industry in the United States is worth billions of dollars. Occasionally, complications can arise when pharmaceutical products are designed defectively, irresponsibly marketed, insufficiently tested, or incorrectly prescribed. The risks of dangerous pharmaceutical practices can be serious and may include birth defects, illness, or even death. At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we take these pharmaceutical liability cases seriously.
What Is A Pharmaceutical Liability Claim?
Roughly 66% of adults in the United States use prescription drugs. As patients, we expect these types of medications to make us feel better, not worse. According to one Yale-led study, “Nearly one out of every three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a new safety issue detected in the years after approval.” This is one way pharmaceutical liability cases can arise.
In most cases, companies thoroughly test drugs before they go on the market (and clearly explain their risks). However, there are instances when complications and dangerous side effects can develop.
These issues can range in severity and may include depression, heart attack, or even death. Whatever the issue is, if you have reason to believe it was caused by a prescription drug, you may have a pharmaceutical liability case.
Many pharmaceutical injuries occur as a result of negligence on behalf of a drug company. Even with FDA oversight, issues can arise related to improper manufacturing and inadequate warnings of dangerous side effects. However, pharmacies can also make mistakes that lead to pharmaceutical liability cases.
For example, if a patient receives the wrong prescription or dosage instructions, serious injury or death may occur. This is another form of pharmaceutical liability, but it falls on the pharmacy instead of the drug company.
When these types of complications occur, patients may be entitled to compensation from the drug company or pharmacy in question. This can help cover long-term costs related to:
- Ongoing medical care
- Specialized medical equipment
- Lost wages and productivity
- Emotional and mental health challenges
Note that pharmaceutical liability cases can vary greatly due to the nature of prescription drugs. While some adverse reactions may occur immediately, others may develop over the course of several months or years.
Our experienced attorneys at Huber Thomas & Marcelle can help you determine whether your situation is grounds for a pharmaceutical liability case. With years of experience in this arena, it’s our mission to help patients who have fallen victim to missteps in the pharmaceutical industry.
What Types Of Pharmaceutical Liability Are There?
While we’ve discussed a few of the variations in pharmaceutical liability, there are even more specific categories. Generally, three types of pharmaceutical liability are recognized in a legal setting.
Your specific claim may fall into one, two, or all three of these categories. An attorney can determine which one applies to your situation.
Defective manufacturing of drugs
This category refers to manufacturing issues that lead to the drug becoming tainted. The FDA has an extensive drug development and approval process that pharmaceutical companies must follow to protect consumer safety. However, drug development is complex, and issues may still occur.
Whether the issue arises in the actual manufacturing facility or during the labeling and shipping process, it can lead to dangerous outcomes. In some cases, this category also involves design defects that lead to an inherently risky type of drug, rather than a one-off error.
False marketing of drugs
The FDA has very strict rules for how drug companies are allowed to advertise their products. Even so, many companies market drugs in a misleading or deceitful way.
For example, a company may embellish what the medication can or can’t do, or may subtly suggest it works for an ailment not approved by the FDA. Drug advertising is big business, with over $5 billion spent each year—and that figure is on the rise.
Ensuring that medications are marketed safely is important. We help fight for you in these cases.
Failure to warn about dangerous side effects
This claim covers dangerous and life-threatening side effects that are not properly communicated.
Admittedly, most drugs do come with a string of side effects, but the patient should always be warned of these risks. Most of these cases arise from an allegation that the drug company knew about the risks and did not provide the appropriate warnings. In this type of claim, it is important to demonstrate the misleading intent of the pharmaceutical company in question.
What Should I Do If I Have A Pharmaceutical Liability Case?
If you’re experiencing medical issues that are related to a prescription drug, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Between health concerns and mounting medical bills, it can be difficult to know where to turn.
What should you do if you believe you have a pharmaceutical liability case? It’s time to follow a few important steps. This is how you should proceed in the coming days.
Seek medical care
First and foremost, seek medical care (if you haven’t already). Find a doctor you trust who will take the time and effort to explore your current condition. This may take several weeks or months of testing, but it’s an important part of the process.
This is the best way to learn more about the drug you took and how it may be related to your current health situation. Whether you suffered from a major health event, like a heart attack, or are left with a chronic condition, a doctor can help you connect the dots and come to a conclusion.
Thoroughly document your case
Documentation is crucial in any legal case, including issues of pharmaceutical liability. Gather records of your medical history from several different ranges of time.
It’s important to show the state of your health before taking the drug, while taking the drug, and after. Because pharmaceutical liability cases can be difficult to prove, you must have substantial records of your health journey.
Bottom line: Save every test result, prescription, medical record, and bill.
Reach out to an attorney
Finally, take all of this information and contact a reputable attorney. Pharmaceutical companies are among the most powerful companies in the United States. Knowing this, it’s important to have skilled representation in your corner.
With all of your medical documentation, a lawyer can sort through the information and research the drug in question. This is the best way to determine the strength of your case and options for seeking recourse.
Our Approach At Huber Thomas & Marcelle
In reality, most cases settle outside of court to avoid the expensive and time-consuming nature of the legal process. This is typically the best way to receive a timely settlement. However, we still prepare for every single case as if it’s going to trial. This involves extensive research, expert witnesses, and cutting-edge technology.
We believe this approach gives us more knowledge and power at the negotiating table. If the other party knows that your team is willing and ready to take a case to court, they’ll be more likely to propose a fair settlement. Plus, if the case does go to court, you’re working with an attorney who already has the confidence that is necessary during trial.
Product liability case victories
Pharmaceutical and product liability cases require a legal team with proven courtroom success. Whether we’re up against a major corporation or an insurance company, we prepare for every case thoroughly. Together, we bring decades of combined experience to the negotiating table and, if necessary, to the courtroom.
At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we've helped our clients recover millions of dollars after life-changing injuries or events. These cases include:
- A $2.3 million settlement before the trial even began in a defective product case involving a child
- $1.2 million on behalf of a child who was injured by a defective Wal-Mart product
- $42 million for a group of people harmed by home health companies and physicians committing Medicare fraud
At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we understand the devastating effect of pharmaceutical cases. It’s important to have a team you can trust as you navigate this type of rare, but serious, situation.
Whether you or someone you love is coping with a pharmaceutical liability issue, we can help. In addition to Louisiana, members of our team have licenses to practice in Mississippi, Texas, Washington, D.C., and New York. To discuss the details of your case, schedule a free consultation today.