West Virginia Attorney for Injuries Caused by Dangerous Drugs
Prescription drugs are a billion-dollar industry in America, and it seems like every day a new ad comes on television with a new drug to cure you of a serious medical condition you didn’t even know you had. Pharmaceutical companies make the most money off their blockbuster drugs if they can be the first company to get the product to the drug store shelves. Sometimes in their rush to be the first, drug manufacturers may not adequately test their medicines for safety. Sometimes dangerous side effects don’t appear until many thousands of patients have used the drug over a period of months. But the general public never signed up to be the drug companies’ guinea pigs. Medical products need to be reasonably safe before they ever make it to market, and pharmaceutical companies should be held strictly liable if they allow dangerous or defective drugs into the hands of doctors and patients. In southern West Virginia, the Bayless Law Firm in Princeton holds drug companies accountable for their failures and the harm they cause.
Drug Companies Find Ways Around the FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating the pharmaceutical industry. It is the FDA’s job to evaluate prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications for their safety and effectiveness, and to either approve or reject them based on whether they are safe and effective. When drugs which are already approved are found to have safety issues, the FDA may require warnings to be placed on the packaging and label, or the FDA may issue a mandatory recall of the drug. Drug companies are also supposed to police themselves and voluntarily recall any medications that are found to be unsafe due to a defect in the manufacturing process or a problem with the drug itself, such as dangerous side effects.
Unfortunately, drug companies often find ways around the FDA requirements, to the detriment of the public. Manufacturers may downplay serious concerns which are brought up when drugs are studied; they have even been known to alter study findings or fail to reveal results that put their drugs in a bad light. When drug companies put their profits ahead of patients, the results to public safety can be disastrous.
Off-Label Marketing is Illegal
One of the ways people wind up with serious injuries is from the off-label use of prescription medications. A medicine may be approved by the FDA for one particular purpose, but later it is found to be effective to treat some other condition. Doctors then prescribe the medicine “off-label” to treat a condition that the drug was never tested or approved for. Quite often, the off-label use of the drug becomes much more popular and profitable than the approved use of the drug.
Off-label usage can be especially dangerous because the off-label use is often at a higher dosage or more frequent usage than that for which the drug was approved as safe. It is not illegal for doctors to prescribe medicine off-label, but it is against FDA regulations for a drug company to actively market a drug for an off-label use. Unfortunately, that is exactly what they do, and the pharmaceutical giants have time and again been slapped with multi-million dollar penalties by the FDA for marketing a drug off-label to doctors, urging them to prescribe a drug for an unapproved use.
Get Experienced Legal Representation for Dangerous Drug Injuries
Dangerous drug litigation can be challenging, to say the least. Proving that a particular drug caused a particular problem can be difficult, and drug manufacturers have billions of dollars behind them they can use to defend their profitable drugs. Sometimes, however, the risk to the public is simply too high to ignore. Dangerous drugs have caused serious injuries to numbers of people in recent years, including blood clots and pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, birth defects, uncontrollable bleeding, and death. Sometimes litigation is necessary to hold drug companies accountable and get dangerous drugs off the shelf. The Bayless Law Firm helps people throughout southern West Virginia who have been injured by a dangerous drug. Call our office in Princeton at (800) 359-2356 for a free consultation.