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What Are Dangerous Drugs?
A dangerous drug is any medication, whether it is provided over-the-counter or via prescription, that allegedly causes injuries, complications, adverse side effects or death as a result of the drug being defective and unreasonably dangerous. Despite the thoroughness of the FDA’s drug testing and review process, some drugs enter the marketplace and end up being used by patients, sometimes causing significant harm. A drug recall occurs when a prescription or over-the-counter medicine is removed from the market because it is found to be either defective or potentially harmful. Sometimes, the makers of the drug will discover a problem with their drug and voluntarily recall it. Other times, the FDA will request that the medicine be recalled after receiving reports of problems from the public.
According to WebMD, there are a number of situations that might exist where a prescription drug is recalled. For instance, a drug might be pulled from the market if:
- It is mislabeled or packaged poorly
- It was contaminated during production or distribution
- The drug does something else besides its intended purpose
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries and other complications in Pennsylvania dangerous drug lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
Bad Drugs Risks
Besides that there could be unknown risks associated with a drug, there are other situations where a drug might cause dangerous side effects. In order to remain on the market, drug makers that manufacture drugs that may cause side effects must disclose this information so that it is readily available to consumers. Patients, in conjunction with their medical provider, can then weigh the benefits of taking the medication over the side effects it might cause.
Additionally, in some cases, a drug may be marketed for “off-label” use. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, off-label use refers to situations where a drug is taken for a different purpose than it’s intended for, or a dosage or dosage form is used that has not yet been cleared by the FDA. Although off-label use occurs in all specialties of medicine, it is most likely to occur in situations where certain groups of patients are not included in clinical trials.
How a Pennsylvania Dangerous Drug Attorney Can Help
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
- 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 Pennsylvania dangerous drug attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.