woman taking prescription medication

Defective Drugs: Your Legal Rights and Options

By Jay Rice

If you were harmed by a defective drug, you need to know what you can do about it. You might have substantial medical bills and ongoing health problems from the dangerous medication. Sometimes, the harm a person suffers from a harmful prescription affects their ability to make a living. 

A New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you go after financial compensation for your losses from a dangerous drug and talk to you about your legal rights and options. There is a limited amount of time to take legal action in cases like these, so you should reach out for a free initial consultation right away.

Failure to Warn of the Potential Side Effects

Many substances can cause side effects, even common medications that the medical profession considers as safe. The differences between those substances and dangerous drugs are:

  • How severe the side effects are
  • How frequently the side effects happen
  • Whether the benefits of the drug outweigh the risk of harm from side effects
  • Whether the drug maker knew about the risk of side effects
  • Whether the manufacturer provided sufficient warnings in the labeling, packaging, or in other materials about the known risks

Sometimes, a side effect gets discovered after a new drug hits the market. When the manufacturer becomes aware of these adverse reactions, they need to act promptly and appropriately. They might need to pull the drug from the market immediately or simply change the warnings and packing inserts to warn doctors and patients about the risk of harm. Failure to respond adequately could subject the drug maker to liability.

Recalled Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides information to the public about drugs, medical devices, and other products. The FDA tests medications before they are allowed to enter the market for use by consumers. When the FDA learns of problems with a drug, they could terminate the approval of the drug, or they might allow the drug to continue to be sold with appropriate modifications to the warning information or to the medication itself. 

Physical and Psychological Side Effects of Dangerous Medications

Dangerous drugs could cause physical side effects to the patient, including:

  • Organ damage. For example, damage to the heart, kidneys, liver, or brain.
  • Blood clots that can develop in or travel to the heart, lungs, or brain.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Stroke.
  • Embolism.
  • Death.
  • Addiction. For example, some painkillers cause patients to become addicted to opioids.

Some defective drugs can cause psychological side effects, like depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation as well.

Contaminated Drugs

On occasion, just one batch of prescription drugs is defective because one of the component chemicals used to make the drug contained contaminated ingredients. When this happens,  the drug maker should recall all units of that batch from the market.

If you were harmed by a defective drug, you could qualify for monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, ongoing impairment, and other losses. You can reach out to our New Jersey personal injury attorney today. We are happy to offer an initial case evaluation at no cost to you. 

About the Author
Jay J. Rice is the managing partner of the firm in which he founded in 1983 with his boyhood friend Bruce Nagel. Jay has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation, including business litigation, class actions, mass torts, chancery, securities, construction litigation, professional malpractice, and estate litigation. He is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney and has tried numerous cases in state and federal courts to conclusion. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Jay here.