Severe injuries caused by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices are on the rise and taking a serious toll on patients nationwide. Although the FDA and other government authorities take occasional action, the sheer amount of such incidents cannot be kept under control. The paradox is that in many cases these injuries are caused by devices or drugs which were previously approved by the FDA. This means that patients could be the ultimate test for the safety of these products. Companies often promote “blockbuster” drugs or medical devices without fully exposing the extent of their hazard potential. One such case was linked to the usage of the blood thinner Pradaxa, used to prevent strokes in patients. This drug, approved by the FDA, is believed to have been the cause of more than 1,400 deaths in 2013 alone. In many cases, medical devices approved by the FDA have caused more harm than good, leading to more surgeries than originally required for the patient, sometimes going on for years. Abdominal and vaginal meshes are good examples.
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly putting consumers at risk by persuading physicians to prescribe the unsafe drugs. Often times, the pharmaceutical companies know that a drug is not safe, but the profit they make from the sale of the product far outweighs the potential penalties they may face if sued. The FDA approval process is a matter of deep concern as more and more drugs which were once considered safe become disqualified for usage.
Such ambiguities make medical injury cases more complex for patients. It is therefore important for patients harmed by these products to talk with a competent medical malpractice lawyer who has a proven track record for handling such cases.
Another example is the drug Benicar. The FDA declared the drug did not cause cardio-vascular risks in diabetic patients so it could safely be prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes in adults. It was later found that Benicar triggered intestinal problems, causing severe degeneration to the intestine which caused to chronic diarrhoea. These details are often not made available to the patients, so a medical malpractice lawyer plays a vital role. The lawyer must investigate and prove that a common device was faulty or that a drug had known undisclosed side effects at the time of distribution and that the harm caused was a result of its use. For this reason it is very important to get a lawyer who can understand the complexities to properly evaluate the case.