A “dangerous drug lawsuit” is a phrase referring to cases filed in court against pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers for harm caused by prescription medications. Almost one-third of new drugs approved by U.S. regulators over a decade ended up years later with warnings about unexpected, sometimes life-threatening side effects or complications, a new Associated Press analysis found.
These cases can be filed as individual cases for one person, but are often filed as class action lawsuits for a large group of people. A person injured by medication can join the class action lawsuit and make a claim for a settlement.
To learn about your legal options after taking a harmful medication, contact our drug lawyers today. Our legal team can help you calculate your damages, answer your questions, and demand full and fair compensation.
Background on the Associated Press Study
The results covered all 222 prescription drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2001 through 2010. The researchers looked at potential problems that cropped up during routine monitoring that’s done once a medicine is on the market.
The 71 flagged drugs included top-sellers for treating depression, arthritis, infections, and blood clots. Safety issues included risks for serious skin reactions, liver damage, cancer and even death.
The researchers analyzed online FDA data on new drugs and the agency’s later safety announcements. Problems surfaced on average about four years after approval. Results were published in early May in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study counted black-box warnings for dozens of drugs; these involved serious problems including deaths or life-threatening conditions linked with the drugs. There were also dozens of alerts for less serious potential harms and three-drug withdrawals because of the potential for death or other serious harm.
Safety issues were most common for psychiatric drugs and biologic drugs – made from living cells rather than chemicals – than for older drug types. Drugs brought to market through “accelerated” approval were slightly more likely to have later safety issues than those approved through conventional channels, a link was seen in some previous research.
What Are The Legal Requirements For Suing A Pharmaceutical Company?
Most lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies allege that a person was injured or suffered serious harm from an undisclosed side effect of prescription medication.
The laws in the United States require that the drug companies disclose all serious complications of medicine and warn consumers about the potential risks and side effects of a drug.
People harmed by drugs may have the legal right to a settlement against the drugmaker.
In other cases, a pharmaceutical company may promote a drug for “off-label” use. This means that the drug is used for the main purpose but may also have some incidental benefits. However, those other benefits may pose serious medical risks to the consumer.
Failing to warn doctors and the public of these risks may also be the basis for suing a drug manufacturer. To learn more about what can be the basis for dangerous drug claim, speak with our experienced lawyers today.
What Is Needed To Prove A Case Against A Drug Company?
In order to win compensation and receive a settlement against a drug company, the consumer must generally prove that:
1. The medication was taken during a specific period of time. Medical records and pharmacy records are often used to prove this requirement.
2. The person suffered the “signature injury,” or type of complication that is asserted in the lawsuit. Again, medical records are used to prove the type of injury or harm.
3. The person suffered damages as a result of the harm caused by the dangerous drug. Damages can include pain and suffering, disability, lost wages, and medical expenses. In cases involving death, damages can be awarded under the wrongful death laws.
What Types of Compensation are Available in Prescription Lawsuits?
In lawsuits for dangerous drugs, the settlements include past, present, and future compensation for numerous damages that can be calculated by an experienced attorney:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disability from work
- Disability from recreational activities
- Payment of medical expenses
- Payment of lost income and wages
- Loss of family companionship in cases involving death
Drug Lawsuit Settlements
The settlement amount for each person participating in a class action drug lawsuit depends on a number of factors, which can be explained by our knowledgeable attorneys.
The factors include the type of harm suffered, the degree in which the person has matched the case criteria, the number of people in the lawsuit, and the total amount of the settlement.
Many lawsuits have classifications and systems for grading the factors for each lawsuit participant and then assigning a dollar settlement amount based upon those various factors.
The amount that an individual plaintiff will receive is not determined until after the pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay a specific total settlement amount.
An example of this includes Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and their former marketing partner, GlaxoSmithKline LLC recently agreeing to settle lawsuits for complications with Endo’s testosterone-replacement drugs (TRT drugs) Testim. This announcement comes shortly after well-known drug maker Eli Lilly settled a global lawsuit over its testosterone drug, Axiron. With more than 6,000 testosterone-related drug lawsuits pending in court, this may be only the beginning of settlements to follow.
How Much are Settlement Amounts in Dangerous Drug Cases?
The settlement amounts in a dangerous drug lawsuits vary widely from case to case. Typically, the class of plaintiffs will agree to a total settlement amount against the pharmaceutical company to be paid to all plaintiffs. The total settlement amount must be approved by a judge.
Once that amount is agreed upon, the factors in determining the award to each plaintiff include the number of plaintiffs in the class action and the type of harm suffered by an individual plaintiff. Many cases have written classifications and systems for grading the factors for each lawsuit participant and then assign a specific dollar settlement amount based upon those various factors.
Retain an Attorney for Help with a Dangerous Drugs Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has suffered a worsened medical condition after taking a medication, retain our drug lawyers to seek compensation. It will cost you no money to get started on your case. Our attorneys do not charge any legal fees to file your drug lawsuit or add your claim to an existing class action lawsuit.
You will not be charged any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and our fees will be deducted from your settlement amount.
We will also pay all of your case costs and expenses. If your claim is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing.