Prescription drugs are designed to address a specific medical problem or illness. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where these drugs do more harm than good. Although medications are tested and vetted using standards from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sometimes testing is forged, done in an unethical way, or even ignored altogether. Even if a drug is tested properly, it can have harmful side effects for some individuals that others do not experience.
It is a scary thought to realize that the drugs that are supposed to help us can actually significantly harm us, sometimes causing long-term negative consequences. In those situations, the drug manufacturer, pharmacy, doctor, or others could have a legal obligation to help you address your injuries and damages, and our Florida dangerous drug lawyers can help with that process.
What Is a Dangerous Drug?
Virtually every drug can be dangerous if it is not used properly. Drugs can also be dangerous if the information you receive and rely upon regarding the drug is not right.
Drug companies are required to run each drug through a vigorous and thorough testing phase, which potentially includes years of experimentation and analysis. However, drug companies understand this system very well, and they can manipulate the data and test results to show that drugs are safe, when they actually may be very dangerous. They can also significantly underplay or even misunderstand the side effects of the drugs.
Some examples of ways that drugs can be dangerous for you as a consumer include:
- Mixing drugs together (prescription or otherwise) that should not be mixed
- Combining certain drugs with medical conditions that increase underlying symptoms
- Failing to understand the long-term effects of a specific drug with continued or regular use
- Not labeling a drug correctly to fully explain that potential risks and side effects
- Mislabeling or providing an incorrect drug to you
- Design or manufacturing flaws in the drug itself
- Using a drug for a purpose that is not approved by the FDA (“off-label” use)
The FDA has a drug approval process that streamlines approval if the drug or medical device is similar enough to another drug that has already been approved and is currently on the market. However, some drug manufacturers abuse this process by claiming that a drug is similar when it actually has important differences that can negatively affect your health.
Who Is Legally Responsible for Dangerous Drugs?
In most dangerous drug cases, the drug manufacturer is the party that is ultimately responsible. However, drugs can be dangerous in many other ways apart from the design or manufacturing standpoint.
Other parties that might be responsible for the damage caused by dangerous or unsafe medication include:
- Your pharmacy
- Your doctor
- The hospital or medical facility where you were treated or where your doctor is employed
- The facility or lab where the drug was developed or tested
- Pharmaceutical sales representatives
Consider an example. Imagine that your doctor prescribes you a drug to treat an illness. They send the prescription to the pharmacy for you to pick up on your way home from the hospital. However, your doctor does not realize that the drug that she has prescribed does not mix well with a drug that you are already taking for a chronic medical condition. The pharmacy fills the prescription, and you take both medications at the same time. The combination results in a series of seizures that only stop after your doctor realizes that drug combination error and takes you off one medication or the other.
In that circumstance, both your doctor and your pharmacist should have realized that the drug combination was a bad one. The drug manufacturer may also have some fault if there was no labeling that warned you not to mix these two drugs as well. In this example, the medications may have worked exactly as intended, but they should not have been combined.
Your dangerous drug lawyer in Florida can help you determine who should be involved in your legal case if you have a negative reaction to any type of medication or drug.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
It can be very difficult to determine that your medication is causing a health problem, particularly if that health problem takes some time and effort to uncover. You may need a team of experts to help you not only address the issue but also assist you with asserting your legal claim.
The experienced team at VG Law Group LLP can walk you through your legal options in a dangerous drug situation. You don’t have to go through this confusing time alone. Give us a call today for more information or to schedule an appointment with our team.