Dangerous Prescription Drugs
A report by the Journal of Patient Safety reveals that errors made in hospitals lead to the premature deaths of 210,000 to 440,000 people every year. These mistakes are misdiagnosis, prescribing incorrect drugs or incorrect doses, and, in general, not following the strict standard of care that doctors, nurses, surgeons, and paramedics are held to. On top of these thousands of fatalities and severe injuries and illnesses that happen in medical institutions around the country, the pharmaceutical industry creates drugs that lead to thousands of cases of birth defects, serious health implications, deaths, and even suicides.
When a drug is released on the market, there is a large chance that it has not undergone strict testing to ensure its safety. This is because the pharmaceutical industry creates thousands of drugs every year, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither the time nor the resources to know for fact that the drugs they approve are safe for all their intended users. The pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, releases drugs that are laden with problems and health concerns for people who unknowingly take their products believing them to be safe. Only later, after serious medical cases and deaths have been revealed, do we know the full extent and lethality of certain medications. For many, by then it is too late. If you or a family member has suffered an illness or death due to an unsafe pharmaceutical drug, you may be owed damages and it is in your best interest to discuss the matter with an experienced dangerous drug attorney.
The Rise of Prescription Drugs
According to Drug Watch, the prescription drug industry increased from $40 billion in 1990 to $234 billion in 2008. Almost half of all Americans take one or more prescription drugs. With that in mind, the workload of the FDA would have increased by at least five times in terms of testing to ensure the safety of the drugs released on U.S. citizens. The FDA cannot keep up with the onslaught of the pharmaceutical industry, and the industry’s own testing is often flawed, and, furthermore, may be biased.
Listed below are some popular medications that cause serious side effects to certain users and have lead to personal injury as well as wrongful death lawsuits:
- Abilify is an antidepressant that is also sometimes used for other mental illnesses. It can cause suicidal thoughts, induce compulsive gambling, and cause sexual dysfunction;
- Benicar is a blood pressure medication that can cause cases of chronic severe diarrhea, malnourishment, and eventual death;
- Invokana is used to treat Type 2 diabetes treatment and can cause ketoacidosis, which involves fatalities due to swelling of the brain, coma, dehydration;
- Januvia is a diabetes medication that causes severe or fatal pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer;
- Lexapro is an anxiety and depression medication that causes serious birth defects when taken by pregnant women;
- Lipitor is a cholesterol medication that can actually cause Type 2 diabetes;
- Paxil is an antidepressant that also causes serious birth defects when taken by women who are pregnant;
If you or a family member has been subject to injury, illness, or death because of an unsafe drug, you may be able to collect damages. Contact an experienced wrongful death or personal injury attorney to discuss your options.