Pharmaceutical Drugs

Pharmaceutical drugs are used to aid in your recovery. Whether that is treating symptoms, pain or the underlying condition altogether, we expect our prescribed medication to help us rather than harm us. However, adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs are more common than you may think.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are 500,000 adverse drug events reported annually. In 2013 and 2014, there were records of more pharmaceutical drugs being recalled than there were in the last nine years. Some of these drugs have caused serious side effects and complications, which caused serious injury or even death.

If you’ve been injured because of a defective drug, then it’s imperative you gain legal representation.

Product Liability Lawyer for Defective Drugs in Chicago, IL

Defective drugs can lead to serious side effects and even worsen your initial medical condition. This means more medical bills and treatments to undergo because of another’s mistake. Hold the manufacturer or pharmacy who did this to you responsible by calling Susan E. Loggans & Associates. 

The attorneys at Susan E. Loggans & Associates have the resources and skills you need to win your case. We’ll do all we can to ensure you have proper representation by providing quality legal service. Call us now at (312) 201-8600 to set up a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers accept clients throughout the Cook County area including Des Plaines, Arlington Heights and Evanston. 

Overview of Defective Drugs in Illinois 

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Pharmaceutical Drug Defects?

All pharmaceutical drugs must undergo extensive examination and testing by the FDA before it’s released to the market. So, how do “defective” pharmaceutical drugs find their way into pharmacies? Prescription or over-the-counter drugs can be dangerous in three ways: design defects, manufacturing defects or warning label issues. 

A drug with a design defect has something wrong with its initial blueprint. This means the drug was always dangerous because its design was composed of hazardous chemicals or somehow leads to deadly side effects. You can hold the manufacturer responsible if there’s proof that there was an alternative and safer design for the drug available, but they chose to use the initial dangerous design instead. Pharmaceuticals may be on the market for weeks or even years before a design defect is discovered.  

Manufacturing defects is when one product out of a line of prescriptions has a defect that departs from the original design. This is because there was an error made during manufacturing, shipping or handling of the drug.

Lack of a warning label or warning label issues can also lead to serious injuries. Drug companies are required to list any dangerous side effects or possible allergies on their drug warning labels. If a pharmaceutical drug doesn’t have the appropriate label, patients won’t be aware of the hidden dangers or risks associated with the drug. In some cases, the doctor is the one who is liable if they don’t inform you of possible side effects, drug interactions or any other important information.

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Examples of Pharmaceutical Drugs with Dangerous Side Effects

Pharmaceutical drugs must undergo a rigorous approval process by the FDA before they’re available to the public. Unfortunately, the FDA’s extensive testing isn’t always effective when finding potentially dangerous side effects. This especially applies to complications associated with long-term effects of a medication.

Some examples of pharmaceutical drugs that have injured patients include:

  • Accutane – A drug used to treat acne can sometimes lead to serious side effects such as depression, suicidal thoughts and birth defects for pregnant women.
  • Celebrex – This is an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat osteoporosis and arthritis. It’s also been found to have dangerous side effects such as heart problems, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure.
  • Lipitor – This drug is commonly used for people who are prone to heart attacks or strokes. Unfortunately, Lipitor has been linked to type 2 diabetes, liver damages and memory loss.
  • Januvia – This is a type 2 diabetes drug and has been associated with pancreatic cancer
  • Paxil/Prozac/Zoloft – Antidepressants are used to treat people with medical depression. These and other brands of antidepressants such as Celexa and Lexapro are linked to birth defects, seizures and suicidal thoughts.
  • Zyprexa/Risperdal – Antipsychotic medications used to treat bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, nervous system disorders and kidney issues.
  • Ocella/Yasmin/Yaz – Birth control is known to be associated with a slew of side effects including loss of vision, heart attack, stroke or gallbladder disease.
  • Xarelto – This medication is used to prevent strokes, but has been associated with side effects including brain hemorrhaging, hemorrhagic strokes and gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Taxortere – This is a semisynthetic analogue of Taxol, which is prescribed to primarily to cancer patients. Taxotere can result in permanent alopecia, otherwise known as baldness.
  • Talcum Powder – A general personal hygiene product used to soothe rashes and to retain skin moisture. However, it’s been associated with an heightened risk of ovarian cancer.

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What Makes Lawsuits for Defective Drugs Different?

Complex civil cases involving one or more common injured people are referred to as mass tort. Mass tort cases is when a group of people share the same grievance and file a collective claim. Most defective drug cases are mass torts where multiple people were injured by the same drug. 

Mass torts cases differ are similar to class action lawsuits because they both are composed of a large group of plaintiffs. However, mass torts cases usually involve smaller groups of people who were injured in the same geographic area. Additionally, each plaintiff in a mass torts case is treated as an individual in court. 

Class action lawsuits usually consist of much larger groups which are referred to as a class. The plaintiffs speak through a class representative, who is chosen from the plaintiffs themselves. So, all individuals in a class action lawsuit are treated as one plaintiff.

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Should I Sue for Being Injured by a Defective Drug?

If you were injured because of a defective drug, then it’s recommended you file a claim for damages. You will first have to identify who is at fault whether it’s the manufacturer or your doctor. Whoever the defendant is will be named in your claim and are legally obligated to respond within 30 days. If they ignore your claim, then a settlement will be granted. 

Typically, the defendant will contest your claim before the given deadline. You will then be obligated to collect evidence proving that the drug was defective, and that defect caused your injury. Presenting important information to the court such as medical records, FDA testing information and a diary of your injuries can help support your claim. 

Product liability is a confusing sect of law, especially if it applies to pharmaceutical drugs. It’s highly recommended you seek an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you. Your attorney can collect relevant evidence and negotiate for you in and out of the courtroom. They can even draft and file the initial claim for you. 

If you win your case, then you will be granted a monetary settlement. The settlement will cover all your damages associated with the injury. Damages is a legal term for any losses you’ve sustained because you were injured. They can include financial losses such as bills or emotional losses such as pain and suffering. 

Listed below are some damages your settlement could cover. 

  • Medical bills;
  • Counseling;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of enjoyment for life; and
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources 

MedWatch: FDA Adverse Event Reporting – Visit the official website for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to learn more about their “MedWatch” program which is used to report adverse side effects found in food or pharmaceuticals. Access the site to report a problem, download their safety information forms and more.

FDA Drug Recalls – Visit the official website for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to access their drug recall list. Enter their site to learn the FDA’s role in drug recalls, enforcement reports and which drugs have been voluntarily or involuntarily recalled.

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Defective Pharmacy Drugs Lawyer in Cook County, Illinois

Your prescriptions should help you and not cause harmful side effects. If your medication has caused serious complications, then it’s imperative you contact Susan E. Loggans & Associates. Our attorneys have years of experience representing people who have been victims of defective drugs. Let us help you recover by providing sturdy legal representation today. 

Call us now at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a free consultation. Susan E. Loggans & Associates accepts clients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area including Arlington Heights, Evanston, Des Plaines and Schaumburg.

This article was last updated on May 31, 2019.