Pharmaceutical Liability

Pharmaceutical liability applies to faulty or unsafe drugs, supplements, devices, equipment, and parts that have caused injury or death to their users. Drugs can be unsafe due to manufacturing defects (impurities, wrong components, labeling/dosing errors), and lack of testing to discover adverse side effects or interactions. Drugs involved can be over-the-counter or prescription. If the drug involved was prescribed, the liability may or may not extend to the prescribing physician. Pharmaceutical liability also applies to equipment or parts made for medical uses. If a pacemaker installed in a patient with a heart condition fails, the manufacturer of the pacemaker, and possibly the makers of parts for the pacemaker could all be at fault. Medical equipment (whether for internal or external use) that fails in a medical setting causing harm to patients or employees could be the cause of a pharmaceutical liability case also. Replacement parts or implanted items that are surgically installed in a patient can also fail requiring an additional surgery to fix what the initial surgery was meant to correct. Hip, knee replacements, and breast implants are examples of such faulty items. 

Labeling of drugs must give dosing instructions, and directions (if it is to be taken with quantities of water). If it is an herb or supplement, the label cannot make claims as to what the product cures, prevents, or treats. Labeling for such items can use wording such as “promotes or supports digestive system health.” Herbs and supplements also need to label food sources derived from, any contraindications, and also dosing instructions (how much or how many/ number of times a day).

Drugs can be hailed as the magic bullet or a marvel of medicine one day only to be pulled from the market a few months later. Why does this happen? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has to approve drugs for use in the United States. Sometimes the FDA approves drugs that the pharmaceutical company has not adequately tested. The FDA approves new drugs based on the benefits of the drug to patients. If the benefits of a drug outweigh the noted side effects, then the drug will likely gain approval for sale and use. The problem is, that people are very different and reactions due to individual composition and nuances are not seen as important if the adverse reaction numbers are not significant or affect a large number of users. The following is a list of drugs that have resulted in many injury or death cases:

  • Actos
  • Alloderm
  • Avandia
  • Bextra
  • Celebrex
  • Chantrix
  • Depakote
  • Digitek
  • Fosamax
  • Heparin sodium USP
  • Levaquin
  • Paxil
  • Procepia
  • Ocema
  • Ortho Evra patch
  • Topamax
  • Vioxa
  • Yaz
  • Zicam
  • Zoloft
  • Zyprexa

If you believe you or a loved one was injured by a defective or dangerous product or drug, contact the Sweeney Law Firm. Let our experts review the facts to see if you may have a dangerous drug or product case. Experienced lawyers and resources are needed for these types of cases as they involve the knowledge and testimony of many professionals (doctors, scientists, engineers, and others). Knowledge of product development, manufacturing, and government regulation of industry are but a few of the key areas involved in proving a pharmaceutical or medical product manufacturer negligent. If the Sweeney Law firm accepts your case, it will be handled on a contingency fee basis. We do not get paid unless there is a settlement or a recovery of funds for you.