Injuries from prescription medications: Information for victims

Legislation is present to protect patients from dangerous medications. If injury results, compensation may be available.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that three billion prescriptions are written every year. Although these medications offer a number of benefits, risks are also present. Various regulations are present in an effort to help reduce the risk of injury associated with prescription drug use.

History of legislation to protect from pharmaceutical injuries

Efforts to reduce the risk of these injuries have been present for many years. Some early efforts include the Biologics Control Act that was passed in 1902 to better ensure the safety of vaccines, serums and other products used to treat or prevent diseases and the original Food and Drugs Act in 1906, passed to regulate the branding of drugs. Back in 1912 a popular product used to ease the pain associated with teething in babies was laced with morphine, a potentially dangerous drug. The product contained no label listing this ingredient and many infants died from use of this product. This resulted in additional legislation, like the Sherley Amendment, which was designed to better ensure that manufacturers would not defraud patients with misleading labels.

Additional efforts aimed at increasing the safety of medications are present throughout history, including the more recent Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013. This law was enacted shortly after the meningitis outbreak of 2013 and is designed to ease the ability of tracing potentially faulty prescription medications throughout the United States.

Although these laws help reduce the risks associated with use of medications, risks remain. When these risks result in an injury, remedies may be available for victims.

Prescription medications and lawsuits

Manufacturers, pharmacists and physicians have a duty to protect the patients that use these medications. A failure to meet this duty can result in liability for injuries. Some examples include:

  • Manufacturers. Manufacturers of certain pharmaceutical products are required to run a variety of tests before receiving approval from the FDA to distribute their products. A failure to properly complete these tests or accurately report results can result in liability.
  • Medical professionals. Physicians and pharmacists are also required to disclose any potential risks associated with use of a medication. A failure to share this information with a patient before prescribing the medication can also result in liability.

If liability is established, victims can receive monetary awards to help cover the costs associated with the injury through a civil suit. This can be used to help cover the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation and lost wages. Contact an experienced pharmaceutical injury lawyer to discuss your options and help better ensure your legal rights and any potential remedies are protected.

If you think you or someone you love may have been injured due to a pharmaceutical medication or device, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free and confidential consultation with a pharmaceutical injury lawyer, contact the law firm of Reich and Binstock, LLP. Call their Houston law office toll free at 877-643-3099, locally at 713-622-7271 or send an email.
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