Chesterfield residents can benefit in many ways from life-saving prescription drugs and helpful over-the-counter medications. While most drugs have side effects, in some cases, these harmful reactions make them more dangerous than the condition they are meant to treat.

If a medication has harmed you, or your loved one has died because of one, a Chesterfield dangerous drugs lawyer may be able to help you. With guidance from a well-practiced injury attorney, you could seek compensation from the company responsible for the harmful medication.

Duty of Pharmaceutical Companies

Drug manufacturers put first have their products tested and approved through a long process under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates and monitors drugs to ensure they are safe for consumers to take as prescribed. When medications have dangerous side-effects, the FDA requires the manufacturer to properly label the drugs so consumers and their doctors can make informed decisions about whether the drug’s benefits outweigh the risks.

Drugs found to be too risky can be recalled voluntarily by the manufacturer, or by the FDA. When drug companies breach their duty to consumers, such as by not labeling a drug they know is dangerous, consumers harmed from taking the medication could contact a local attorney to discuss filing a lawsuit for negligence.

How Do Drug Earn FDA Approval?

Medications begin in a laboratory, where they are developed and often tested on animals. When a new drug looks promising, the pharmaceutical company behind it files with the FDA an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, which allows the company to conduct clinical trials on humans. The results of the trials are submitted to the FDA, and if approved, the drug can be sold to consumers. The FDA continues to monitor the drug and the facility that manufactures it. The FDA also approves appropriate labeling to ensure that consumers are safe if the drug is prescribed to them.

Monitoring Approved Medications

The FDA takes many activities into account in the ongoing monitoring of approved drugs. Records are kept concerning:

  • Proper labeling, which is amended as more side effects are discovered
  • Reporting complaints from consumers who suffer side effects
  • Death statistics related to the drug
  • Ongoing drug studies
  • Use of the drug for other than its intended purpose

The drug company’s use of public advertising to consumers instead of privately to physicians
Even when prescription and over-the-counter drugs are monitored, and warning labels are present, physicians may be unaware of the life-threatening side effects when prescribing to patients. If a doctor wrongfully prescribes a medication, resulting in harm to the patient, they could be held liable. A Chesterfield attorney could investigate the source of the harmful drug to determine the proper defendant in a civil claim.

Recalling a Harmful Medicine

If a medication exhibits serious side effects, including death, the FDA may demand a black box label, denoting the high degree of danger, but still allow the drug to remain on the market. If the drug is more dangerous than its benefits, it will be recalled.

Pharmaceutical companies do not have to wait for the FDA to recall a drug. They can pull their drug if continued testing finds the medicine to be ineffective or extremely dangerous. For example, Torrent Pharmaceuticals recently expanded a recall of its blood pressure medication, Losartan, after discovering cancer-causing agents tainted it.

The FDA usually prompts a drug company to recall a drug it deems dangerous, but if the company does not, the FDA can override the pharmaceutical company and order the drug recalled.

Contact a Chesterfield Dangerous Drugs Attorney Today

Although medications have vastly improved the quality and length of life for many people, when drugs are not properly tested, they can result in devastating harm. If you suffered debilitating side effects after taking any medication, a Chesterfield dangerous drugs lawyer could be your advocate in your fight for financial compensation. Call today to schedule your free consultation.