Raleigh Pharmaceutical Litigation and Defective Drug Attorneys
Experienced & Aggressive Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorneys
Prescription medications are intended to help, not hurt. But sometimes, pharmaceutical companies consciously disregard dangerous side effects, pushing prescriptions to market without testing them thoroughly, or allow them to become adulterated. Let experienced attorneys guide you through your prescription drug lawsuit process. For a Free Case Evaluation, call us today at (877) 941-0886 FREE.
Common Types of Pharmaceutical Litigation Cases
Prescription Drug Side Effects & Litigation
Over the last decade, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has removed from the market numerous drugs. Generally the manufacturer had made assurances to get FDA approval that the drugs’ benefits outweighed the risks. However, after being released to the market, adverse reactions were reported and, on further investigation, it was shown that in some situations not all evidence of the drugs’ risks were disclosed. Some of the drugs listed below have been taken off the market while others are still being used.
Manufactured by American Home Products, this was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that was widely prescribed for pain in 1997 and 1998. In May 1998, it was removed from the market because of a large number of adverse drug reaction reports. In some cases use of this drug led to elevated liver enzymes and eventually to liver failure necessitating liver transplant. In some situations it even led to death. The initial symptoms of liver damage are abdominal pain, swelling in the stomach and extremities, brown urine, yellow eyes and jaundice.
Omniscan (MRI Dye)
Omniscan (gadodiamide) is a gadolinium containing contrast agent (MRI dye) commonly used by physicians in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). In June 2006, physicians were warned about the use of the Omniscan contrast medium (dye) in an MRI or MRA where patients had a pre-existing renal (kidney) problem over concerns that the patient might develop a very serious medical condition involving the skin called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF). That condition is characterized by a hardening of the skin and other serious health problems.
Fen – Phen
This diet drug combination involved the use of Fenfluramine (known as Pondimin) and Phentermine (Fastin, Adipex, etc.). In September of 1997, the FDA ordered the removal of both Pondimin and Redux from the market. The drugs were manufactured by American Home Products. These drugs caused Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) which is an elevation of blood pressure in the passageway between the heart and the lungs and damage to the user’s mitral and aortic heart valves.
Trovan is a vigorous antibiotic that is used to combat a wide range of infections. Manufactured by Pfizer, the drug is highly liver toxic. In some cases use of this drug led to elevated liver enzymes and eventually to liver failure necessitating liver transplant. In some situations it even led to death. The following, initial symptoms are associated with liver damage: abdominal pain, swelling in the stomach and extremities, brown urine, yellow eyes, extreme fatigue and jaundice. In June 1999, Pfizer restricted the use of this drug to situations in a hospital environment and under life-threatening conditions.
Ketek (Telithromycin) is an antibiotic used to treat certain respiratory (lung and sinus) infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. On January 20, 2006, researchers reported three cases of severe liver problems associated with Ketek, including one death, in patients at a North Carolina hospital.
Manufactured by Roche Laboratories, Posicor was a calcium channel blocker. It was used to treat blood pressure problems in patients. In June 1998, it was pulled from the market when it was determined it was dangerous when used in combination with one of more than 25 other drugs, ranging from antibiotics to allergy drugs. Problems associated with the drug include heart and liver problems.
This drug has been used to treat patients with schizophrenia. The drug has been found to cause heart related problems severe enough to cause death. An irregular heartbeat is the symptom most commonly associated with its use.
This drug is used primarily to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It has been on the market in the United States since November 1998. Recent studies have shown Enbrel can cause disorders of the central nervous system. Some patients using this drug have also developed bleeding problems.
Raplon was a muscle relaxant prescribed by doctors and anesthesiologists to some patients by injection before hospital or surgical procedures. In March of 2001, Organon, Inc., the manufacturer, voluntarily withdrew the product from the market because it may have been linked to 5 deaths and 90 other problems related to bronchospasm which is an inability to breathe normally. Bronchospasm can range from mild to severe.
The FDA approved Raplon for sale in August of 1999. Before it was approved, there were reports of bronchospasm in the clinical trials but they were considered to be no different than what would be expected in the general population. New reports seriously challenge the pre-clinical findings. Indeed, the FDA noted that the post market survey of the drug indicates “that the risk of injury may be greater than what was suggested.”
Coronary bypass patients that were given the drug Aprotinin, sold under the brand name of Trasylol, should be aware that the product has been linked to kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes — and implicated in thousands of deaths.
Why Should I Contact a Bad Drug Lawyer?
The legal system can provide compensation for people victimized by the conduct of negligent drug manufacturers and other responsible parties. When an otherwise preventable serious injury or death occurs from the use of any prescription medication, a lawsuit provides an effective vehicle to obtain compensatory and punitive damages. If you have experienced any of the adverse side effects associated with any of these prescription drugs contact Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., today.
Pharmaceutical Litigation FAQs
Depending on the facts of your individual case, liable parties can range from the drug manufacturer, to your treating physician, to the pharmacy that dispensed the medication. An experienced lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., can help determine liability in your personal injury claim. Contact us today.
I have been taking a drug that was not prescribed by a physician; do I still have a possible legal remedy for injuries suffered from these drugs?
In a case where no physician prescribed the drug which caused you injury, but instead you purchased it on your own, you may still have a claim against the drug manufacturer. You will not, however, have a claim against your physician. Another possibility is a claim against the pharmacist if the drug was a prescription drug.
A class action is a distinctive type of lawsuit that allows a group of people who have comparable issues to sue another party as a group, or class. The idea of a class action is that everyone who has been injured by the same conduct should not have to be put to the expense of hiring his/her own lawyer and go through the stress of a trial. Certain drug litigation cases fall under class action lawsuits against the manufacturer. Contact Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., today to discuss your claim.
Among many others, the following are the most common drugs found in litigation claims:
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has strengthened its precautions in the labeling of certain drugs with dangerous side effects, through warning labels on the product. This includes the highest level of warning, a Black Box warning.
An “off-label drug” is use of a drug in ways other than described in the FDA-approved label. It is legal for physicians to prescribe medications for off-label uses; however, it is not legal for drug companies to promote unapproved uses or distort information about a medication’s off-label benefits.
Many prescription drugs can provide benefits for patients that are not the drug’s primary purpose. For example, aspirin, once thought only a pain killer, has been proven to increase blood circulation and prevent heart attacks. This is an acceptable medical practice when done by an experienced physician. When a drug company specifically markets a drug for an off-label purpose, it violates Federal law, and can cause serious injuries in patients.
Off label uses of FDA-approved drugs can include:
- Antidepressants – used for insomnia and pain.
- Opioid analgesics – used for pediatric pain.
- Anticonvulsants – used for a variety of pain problems.
- Corticosteroids – used for cancer pain.
- Antiarrythmics – used for neuropathic pain.
- Beta-blockers – used for migraine.
- NSAIDs – used for nonarthritic pain.
- Amphetamines – used for opioid-induced sedation.
- Clonazepam – used for anxiety.
Here are some tips for the next time your doctor prescribes any medication:
- Ask about the risks and benefits – Ask if the drug has been approved for your condition and about the potential benefits and risks involved.
- Talk to the pharmacist – Ask the pharmacist to review the package insert with you before filling the prescription.
- Do some research – Look up the drug in medical reference book or on the Internet. Check whether your condition is an approved use, what the proper dose is, and what the proper duration of use is.
- Inquire about other options – If you are not comfortable with a drug that does not meet FDA-approval for your condition, tell your doctor.
Let’s Talk About Your Case
The medicine that we take is supposed to make us better, but many times those medicines and devices fail us and can make us worse than before. If you were injured due to a pharmaceutical company’s negligence, you are not alone. The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., are experienced in taking on these large drug companies and are dedicated to helping you win your case. Contact us today to get started on getting the compensation that you need to move forward with your life.