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When Drugs Become Dangerous
A defective drug is any medication that causes psychological, physical or emotional injury. However, the drug does not have to be inherently dangerous for it to harm those who take it. This is because injuries can also occur due to insufficient warnings or incomplete labeling.
For example, according to ABC News, two different types of children’s cough syrup were released with dosing cups that had incorrect markings on them. Since accidental overdose is one of the potential consequences of this error, both medicines were recalled. Although no reports of an accidental overdose have been reported, some of the possible side effects of a child taking the wrong dose of this cough medicine include dystonia, stupor, coma, hallucinations, rapid eye movements and changes in muscle reflexes. Other possible side effects include irregular heartbeat, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and in severe cases, death.
Dangerous Drug Recalls
According to the Cleveland Clinic, drug recalls, like the one involving the children’s cough syrup, are becoming more and more frequent. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported 1,742 drug recalls in 2009 and 426 recalls in 2008, which is a 309 percent increase in the number of recalls issued. Despite this significant increase in the number of medication recalls issued by the FDA, it is projected that this trend for an increasing number of drug recalls will continue.
There are many different reasons why drug recalls could have increased heavily over the past few years. For example, many of these drug recalls are initiated due to a problem that occurs during the distribution or manufacturing process. However, others believe that quality assurance issues have impacted the number of recalls occurring because many generic companies feel pressure to manufacture the first approved generic drug for brand-name products already on the market.
Classes of Recalls
When the safety of a medication is called into question and a drug recall is issued, the FDA states that the recall is classified into one of three categories. These include the following:
- Class I recall—This type of recall is the most serious. When a Class I recall is issued, a situation exists where a medication is likely to cause adverse health consequences or death if it is used.
- Class II recall—When a Class II recall is issued, a drug may cause irreversible or temporary health consequences. Although serious side effects are still a possibility, the risk of them occurring is remote.
- Class III recall—The least serious of the three recall classes, Class III recalls are issued when a medication is not likely to cause adverse health effects.
Just like there are three different classes of drug recalls, according to the Cleveland Clinic, there are also three steps that occur when a drug recall is initiated. First, the manufacturer of the drug notifies the FDA that there is a problem with their medication. However, if the manufacturer does not initiate the recall process, the FDA will move the recall process forward instead. Second, the public is notified and warned about how the drug might cause adverse health consequences. Finally, the recall process is evaluated and steps are taken to either make the drug safe to use or to withdraw it from the market altogether.
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries and other complications in Michigan dangerous drug lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
How A Michigan Dangerous Drug Attorney Can Help
Holding a pharmaceutical company liable for dangerous drugs is a difficult task. These are large corporations, with both the financial and legal resources to fight back against any claims made against them. Yet you needn’t go through this process alone. A Michigan dangerous drug attorney can provide assistance to you throughout the entirety of your case. He or she could be a valuable resource in helping to determine the extent of harm you were forced to endure, to assess how much is needed to compensate for your injuries, to negotiate with the drug company in an attempt to settle your claim, and to represent your interests at trial if necessary.
Injured Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who have been injured by dangerous drugs may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking a dangerous drug, his or her family members may be able to pursue claims for their loved one’s wrongful death. Compensation may include:
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Loss of financial support of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Affected patients are encouraged to speak with a Michigan dangerous drug attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.