Among other things, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with ensuring the American public is protected from unsafe pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Their approval process is lengthy and costly, requiring thorough lab testing prior to any clinical trials involving humans, and more often than not, drugs fail to make it to the clinical trial stage. In fact, only 1 in 1000 compounds entering lab testing will ever be tested on humans. Each approved drug will have cost approximately $350 million over an average of 12 years of development and testing.
Thanks to this diligent process, most of the pharmaceuticals entering the market for consumers are safe; however, when a defective drug or unsafe medical device is distributed to consumers, the results are often catastrophic, significantly altering individual lives and the lives of families. The Indianapolis-based defective drug attorneys at Wagner Reese, LLP have worked with a multitude of clients who have been harmed by the medications that were supposed to help them through illness or injury. In many cases, doctors or manufacturers failed to properly inform the patient of the risks for a particular drug, but there are also instances where drugs are promoted and provided for purposes other than those for which they were approved. Though less common, a drug may be found to have unexpected dangers that were not uncovered during lab or clinical trials.
What Kind of Claim Might I Have?
Lawsuits over unsafe medications or medical devices are usually handled under product liability, an area of the law focused on products sold and used by consumers.
Experienced Indianapolis product liability lawyers typically focus on one or more of three major types of claims on behalf of their clients:
- Manufacturing defects;
- Design defects; and/or
- Improperly marketed/defective drugs.
Basically, the law requires drug manufacturers to ensure their products are safe, both in design and manufacturing, and it also prevents those same companies from marketing their products to patients for any non-FDA-approved uses, known as “off-label marketing.” Possible defendants in a drug product liability claim can include everyone in the “chain of distribution” of a drug. Large pharmaceutical manufacturers, testing labs, sales representatives, doctors, clinics, hospitals, and/or pharmacies may be found negligent and therefore held liable for the injuries suffered by victims of defective or harmful drugs.
If you are suing a doctor, hospital, or clinic, you may also have a claim for medical malpractice. This will require you to prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed, the doctor was negligent, the negligence of the doctor caused your injury, and the injury led to specific damages. Remember, you are not required to choose just one kind of lawsuit. So long as you have a reasonable legal basis, you may bring multiple types of claims against those who have caused your injury.
Class Action Lawsuits
Victims of bad drugs usually have a choice between filing a claim in state or federal court. This is because drug-makers usually sell their products around the world, not simply in a single state or region. If you are seeking compensation for injuries caused by a harmful medication, you may also have the option of joining a class-action lawsuit. Class-action lawsuits are formed when many people have been injured by the same product. This is an option that should be considered carefully, as there are advantages and disadvantages. A knowledgeable Indiana product liability lawyer can help you to understand whether it is best for you to join a class-action lawsuit or to file an individual suit.
Have you been injured by one of these drugs or medical devices?
In addition, the team at Wagner Reese handles lawsuits related to talcum or “baby” powder, which has been linked to ovarian cancer with regular use. This includes lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for women who regularly used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower and have now been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Why Should I File a Defective Drug or Medical Device Lawsuit?
First and foremost, if you or a loved one have had physical or psychological health compromised by a defective medication, you deserve to receive compensation for any medical or psychological treatment needed to regain your health and quality of life. An experienced defective drug attorney may also be able to help you reclaim lost wages or receive compensation for your lost earning capacity.
Another important reason to file suit is to protect others. Drug companies are selling their product all around the world, and with over a third of the population in the United States alone utilizing medication for various health needs, there is the potential for great harm in a short period of time. If the drug harmed you, how many others have been harmed? How many are being harmed right now in the same way you were? Raising your voice can help raise the alarm for other victims and prevent future victims.
Lastly, bringing attention to defective drugs through lawsuits can help shed light on why the problems with harmful medications continue. While the FDA approval process is long and expensive, there is also a long history of these gigantic, billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies spending a veritable fortune on lobbying in Congress to speed up the drug approval process. They then spend billions more to market their product to doctors and patients alike. The power the drug companies wield can seem impossible to fight against, but with the right attorneys by their sides, patients can not only ensure they are fairly compensated for the wrongs done to them and prevent future victims of that specific drug, but they can impact the very ways that drug companies do business. This can protect others from the ill effects of future drugs, not just the one that harmed you.
Contact Us Now for a Free Consultation about Your Defective Drug or Medical Device Case
Defective drug cases are complex and can place consumers in a vulnerable place. Our experienced defective drug and medical device attorneys at Wagner Reese can help restore the balance of power, providing you the legal support and advice you need so that you can focus on your own health and healing.
Whether your drug-related injuries were caused by defectively designed or manufactured drugs, by hidden side-effects, or by inadequate warnings by drug sales representatives or medical professionals, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation.
Contact us now at (888) 204-8440 to schedule an appointment in our Indianapolis or Carmel offices, or use our convenient, confidential contact form.