People get sick and hurt in Houston every day. There is no one who is completely immune from these things and at some time it is most likely bound to happen. There are also many drug companies who have developed drugs to help either cure people of at least diminish the effects of these illnesses or injuries. These drugs can be very helpful when taken correctly, and in some cases even save lives.
This blog has previously touched on the three main categories of defects that might have caused injury to a patient. To refresh, these are manufacturing defects, design defects and labeling or warning defects. While the first kinds of problems most Texans likely think about when they hear defective drug, are those involving the design or making of the medication, problems with labelling and warning can have very real and very serious consequences.
We've previously discussed the fact that manufacturers of pharmaceuticals have a duty to ensure that the processes they use to create the drugs they sell meet federal Food and Drug Administration guidelines, and that the medications produced thereby are safe and effective for the end users. Further, we've touched on the fact that there can be defects in the design of a drug, the manufacturing of the medicine itself, or in the way consumers are told about the potential effects of drugs. When a drug company allows a medication with a defect to be placed into the stream of commerce, they may be liable for monetary damages to anyone who is injured by the product.
The federal Food and Drug Administration periodically publishes warnings when it finds that empirical studies have suggested potential harmful effects from the use of medications. They also require the manufacturers of these pharmaceuticals to update their labels to reflect the information the administration has gleaned from these scientific studies. Drug companies generally must adhere to these labelling standards in order to allow doctors to make good decisions in how to prescribe medications as well as letting consumers know what the risks are in taking any individual drug.
Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug that can cause permanent hair loss, also known as alopecia, has made headlines recently as lawyers across the country vie for lead positions on the plaintiffs' steering committee. According to the Texas Lawyer, more than 40 applications have been filed by plaintiffs attorneys to be appointed for lead roles in the multidistrict litigation. The basic premise of the Taxotere lawsuit is that Paris-based Sanofi S.A. and its subsidiaries failed to warn that Taxotere could cause permanent alopecia. Currently, around 200 lawsuits have been filed, with the expectation being that thousands more will soon follow.
As we have previously discussed, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the entity responsible for maintaining the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products and medications in Texas and around the United States. As part of this mandate, the FDA investigates reports of defective drugs as well as potential contaminates that could be found in medicines sold to consumers.
As many of us know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Humans have known about breast cancer as far back as the early Egyptians. And, because of its visible manifestations, breast cancer has been mentioned in essentially every period since then. In the early years, the theories of what caused breast cancer varied from everything from too much black bile to a sedentary lifestyle to childlessness. It was not until the 20th century that real advances in the disease's origins began to develop and efficacious treatments began to emerge. Now, early detection and diagnosis along with advances in treatment have increased the survival rate to 83%.
Previous posts here have discussed the serious effects a defective medication can have on a Texas resident. Because drugs are generally given to individuals who suffer from some form of illness, when a medicine is improperly prepared or manufactured, or has side effects that are not listed or have not been evaluated by the federal Food and Drug Administration, the results can be catastrophic to a person's health and well-being. Further, because of the way in which prescription medications are manufactured and distributed, when one individual has been affected, there is a high likelihood that many others have as well.
Previous posts here have discussed how the federal Food and Drug Administration plays an instrumental role in monitoring the safe manufacture and distribution of medications and other pharmaceutical products in Texas and throughout the United States. The FDA is charged with enforcing federal law and regulations concerning the manufacture, marketing and labelling of prescription drugs and certain over-the-counter products. However, the agency also requires that drug sellers and manufacturers continue to report any problems that occur with their products after they hit the market.
In previous posts, this blog has discussed the fact that there are various defects that can occur in the process of manufacturing, packaging and selling various types of pharmaceuticals. As has been explained, not all harmful defects in Texas medications are due to improperly made drugs, as the marketing or warning packaging of the drugs can also be defective. While the federal Food and Drug Administration does as much as possible to monitor and prevent drugs that are defective for any reason from entering the marketplace, unfortunately it can still occur.