Big drug companies have a responsibility to make sure that the drugs and medical devices they sell are safe. Not all prescription drugs and medical devices we put into our bodies are as safe as they ought to be.
Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices are supposed to help you feel better. Unfortunately, dangerous pharmaceutical products harm thousands of Americans each year. These drugs our doctors prescribe often cause serious reactions. We call these drugs, bad drugs. Sometimes, even safe products are dangerous if they are administered incorrectly. Most medical device and pharmaceutical companies are self-insured, which means they are so massive and so well-funded that insurance companies need not insure them. These businesses are global giants.
Doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and other medical professionals sometimes make mistakes when prescribing or administering medications.
- Some medications have similar-sounding names, making it easy to confuse one for the other when writing a prescription. For example, Adderall and Inderal sound alike, but they treat entirely different conditions.
- Inappropriate prescribing is when a medical professional prescribes a drug that is not indicated for a particular patient or medical problem. Overuse of antibiotics is a result of inappropriate prescribing, as some physicians prescribe antibiotics when they are not really needed.
- In some cases, the doctor or nurse uses the wrong route of administration. An example would be giving an intramuscular injection (injecting the medication directly into a muscle) instead of a subcutaneous injection (injecting the medication just under the skin).
- Dosage errors are one of the most common medication errors. This is when a patient receives too much or too little of a medication.
A good personal injury lawyer knows the right medicine, and knows which experts are needed to win a case.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulates the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the safety of American citizens. Unfortunately, even strict oversight doesn’t prevent manufacturers from putting dangerous drugs on the market. Drug companies hide the dangerous effects of their products in several ways:
- Conducting studies with small groups of people, which makes it difficult to identify adverse reactions
- Limiting the amount of time they spend studying the side effects of a drug
- Omitting negative results from the reports they submit to the FDA
Defective Medical Devices
If a defective medical device causes an injury, you have the right to sue the manufacturer under Georgia’s product liability laws. You also have the right to file a wrongful-death suit if your spouse, child, or parent dies as the result of using a defective medical device. For example, ‘intrauterine’ devices (IUDs) are used to prevent pregnancy, but they also cause serious injuries in some women. As a result, IUDs may be classified as defective medical devices.
In some cases, a dangerous drug or defective medical device injures so many consumers that the courts cannot handle every case individually. In a process called multidistrict litigation (MDL), courts consolidate the cases in front of a single judge for purposes of civil discovery. As in a class action, the plaintiffs’ cases are consolidated for the initial discovery phase, but unlike a class action, the cases can proceed to trial separately.
When hundreds or thousands of people are injured by the same medication or medical device, the judge may decide to use “bellwether” trials to determine whether the cases should be settled out of court. A bellwether trial can help to determine a reasonable settlement amount for each plaintiff. Usually, courts choose one or more representative cases and set those cases for a bellwether trial.
Georgia Product Liability Lawyer
A Georgia product liability lawyer knows that manufacturers are typically held to a standard of strict liability. If a manufacturer sells a bad drug or defective medical device, and the bad drug or dangerous product injures someone, the company can be held responsible in court.
Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Boston Scientific, GlaxoSmithKline, and other major pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars each year. When they release products that harm consumers, they should be held accountable. Our personal injury lawyers know how to review medical records, conduct investigations, depose doctors and experts, and work with our own expert witnesses to determine if a dangerous pharmaceutical product caused an injury.
Because pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers have a great deal of resources, they have teams of attorneys. That’s why anyone injured by a medication or medical device should seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible.
We’ve travelled across the country fighting drug and medical device companies and their defense lawyers.