The pharmaceutical industry is a booming business in the United States because people rely on medications to treat various illnesses. Although medications must go through many tests and clinical trials before being approved for use, serious health risks often become apparent only after a drug has been aggressively marketed and prescribed to millions of patients.
- Prescription medications prescribed by a physician and filled at a pharmacy
- Over the counter (OTC) medications available without a prescription
- Medications administered by health care providers in a hospital, surgical, or other clinical setting
When a medication causes serious side effects or death, a drug lawsuit may help victims or their family members receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
We represent individuals or loved ones of those who have been harmed by dangerous medical drugs and have filed drug lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.
Types of Medication
Prescription medication is licensed and regulated by legislation and requires a medical prescription before a patient can obtain it. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines which drugs require a prescription, in the United States. These drugs are generally authorized by veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, medical practitioners, and advanced practice nurses.
The safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs in the U.S. are regulated by the federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987, which is implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Over time, some drugs that prove themselves safe and appropriate as prescription medicines may be switched from prescription to over the counter, or OTC, medication.
An OTC drug is a medication that can be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a health care professional. Over-the-counter drugs made by different manufacturers to treat the same condition must have the same active pharmaceutical ingredients but may differ in formulations or combinations of other ingredients.
Some OTC drugs still require patients to visit a pharmacy and consult with a pharmacist or fill out paperwork to acquire the drug. However, many OTC drugs are available in stores, supermarkets, gas stations, or other retailers without a pharmacy or pharmacist.
Surgical / Clinical
Surgically or clinically administered drugs are medications given to a patient when he or she is receiving professional medical attention or during a medical procedure. This may occur during a medical examination, outpatient surgical procedure, or admittance to a hospital or other healthcare facility for surgery.
Surgically administered drugs may also be included in the type of anesthesia used during surgery and may be given before and after a surgical procedure to prevent problems.
Surgical drugs may include:
- Pain relievers
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
- Anesthesia drugs
- Mouth care products
Types of Recalls
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the marketing of medical drugs in the U.S. and ensures each offers a “reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.” When a pharmaceutical manufacturer learns of a problem with one of its medications, the company must issue a recall to correct or remove the dangerous drug and inform the FDA.
There are three classes of medical drug recalls:
Class I: Involves a situation where there is a reasonable chance that medication will cause serious health problems or death.
Class II: Involves a situation where medication may cause a temporary or reversible health problem or a slight chance to cause serious health problems or death.
Class III: Involves a situation where medication is not likely to cause any health problem or injury.
Some reasons why medications may be recalled:
- Safety concerns such as side effects
- Deviations in strength or potency
Medication Lawsuit Settlements
Beasley Allen Law Firm has a proven history of standing up against Big Pharma in bad drug lawsuits on behalf of individuals or their loved ones who have been harmed or killed by dangerous drugs. Perhaps one of the best-known pharmaceutical lawsuits handled by Beasley Allen involves the prescription medication Vioxx.
In 2008, after more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck agreed to pay $4.85 billion—the largest pharmaceutical settlement in history—to resolve certain claims involving plaintiffs who suffered a heart attack (including sudden cardiac death) or a stroke after taking the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx.
Beasley Allen’s Andy Birchfield and his team played an integral role in developing the Settlement Program and in Merck agreeing to settle these cases.
Since Vioxx, our firm has obtained many other verdicts and settlements on behalf of people nationwide injured by dangerous drugs.
Filing a lawsuit
Let us put our resources to work for you. If you are an attorney, we can competently and conscientiously assist you in handling any group of cases, no matter how large. If you are an individual who has been injured by a medical drug or defective medical device, let us provide the strength you need to obtain justice.
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