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. Our medical attorneys represent individuals or loved ones of those who have been harmed by dangerous medical drugs who have filed drug lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.
Current Drug Lawsuits
Beasley Allen’s medical attorneys are currently investigating cases of injury or death related to the following dangerous drugs:
Belviq was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2012 for long-term weight management in overweight and obese adults. On Feb. 13, 2020, the FDA called for the withdrawal of Belviq and Belviq XR (a version approved in 2016) from the U.S. market because clinical trials showed that patients taking Belviq had an increased occurrence of cancer.
More than 15,000 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits have been filed against the makers of these heartburn drugs. These seemingly safe acid reducers have been linked to serious health risks including kidney disease, kidney failure, and PPI-induced acute interstitial nephritis.
On April 2, 2020, all prescription and over-the-counter versions of ranitidine, the active ingredient in the heartburn and acid reflux medicine Zantac, as well as generics, were withdrawn from the market because they were contaminated with a probable human carcinogen called N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.
Types of medication
A prescription medication is a medical drug that is licensed and regulated by legislation so that it requires a medical prescription before it can be obtained by a patient. In the United States, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines what requires a prescription. Prescription 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. is regulated by the federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with implementing this law. Over time, some drugs that prove themselves safe and appropriate as prescription medicines may be switched from prescription to an 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. It is usually regulated by its active pharmaceutical ingredients. 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.
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 upon admittance to a hospital or other health care facility for surgery. There are a wide variety of drugs that may be administered, based on the type of treatment or surgery a patient is undergoing. 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 antibiotics, anti-fungals, pain relievers, anticoagulants (blood thinners), diuretics, anesthesia drugs, sedatives, antacids and mouth care products.
The pharmaceutical industry is a booming business in the United States because people rely on medications to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Although medications must go through many tests and clinical trials before being approved for use, often serious health risks often become apparent only after a drug has been aggressively marketed and prescribed to millions of patients.
Each year, pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on marketing their drugs—about $19 billion—as they spend on drug safety research. Such an investment into a product may tempt a pharmaceutical company to turn a blind eye to early warning signs of trouble. Unsafe medications may include prescription medications, prescribed by a physician and filled at a pharmacy; over-the-counter (OTC) medications available without a prescription; and medications administered by health care providers in a hospital, surgical or other clinical setting.
Why are drugs recalled?
There are various reasons why medications may be recalled:
- Safety concerns such as side effects
- Deviations in strength or potency
Types of drug recalls
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees marketing of medical drugs in the United States and for ensuring each offers a “reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.” When a pharmaceutical manufacturer learns that there is a problem with one of its medications, the company is expected to 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 a medication will cause serious health problems or death.
Class II: Involves a situation where a medication may cause a temporary or reversible health problem or where there is a slight change that it will cause serious health problems or death.
Class III: Involves a situation where a medication is not likely to cause any health problem or injury.
Drug lawsuit settlement
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 of lawyers – Benjamin Locklar, P. Leigh O’Dell, and W. Roger Smith, III — played an integral role in the development of 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.
Pharmaceutical drug lawyers
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. As your attorney, we will work closely with you as together we fight to make things right. If you feel you have a claim, our attorneys would like to talk to you. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.