Despite thorough testing prior to FDA approval, some medicines are subsequently found to create dangerous or sometimes catastrophic health outcomes for patients who were prescribed and received the medicine. Sometimes, this results in class action lawsuits (which are a type of collective lawsuit on behalf of a group of people) aimed at receiving compensation, e.g. the $4.8bn court settlement in 2007 for the Vioxx medication under the Merck & Co. branding.
In this article, we cover what are problematic medicines and when seeking legal advice is called for.
Not All Medicines Are Good for You
Some medicines are approved, released, prescribed and then patients start to have adverse effects from taking the drug. Why does this happen?
It could be a manufacturing problem where the final product doesn’t match the approved medicine. However, most of the time this isn’t the case. Often, medicines are found to have adverse side effects that are either different or outside the expected range found in clinical trials before the medicine was approved for public use.
Why Aren’t Bad Medicines Prevented from Getting Approved?
While medical studies are carefully carried out by pharmaceutical companies, the reality is that these are reasonably small in scale. The sample of patients who take a medicine in testing is statistically significant but not expansive. However, when a medicine goes on sale, it is likely to be taken by a much larger number of patients. This enlarged sample size is better at highlighting problems even with a tiny percentage of patients.
How Can You Know If a Medicine is Problematic?
If the medicine itself is quite new and you’ve experienced side effects or a worsening of a medical condition it was intended to improve, then this could be a concern. This should be reported to your physician who can decide how best to proceed from that point.
It’s also worth reading press about withdrawn medicines or the FDA suspending the sale of medicines due to reports of patient illnesses or fatalities possibly attributed to it. You can then spot when a medication you might have been issued previously or recently has been brought into question. It’s certainly worth noting down any bad symptoms as you experienced them with times and dates to track what you felt and how you were negatively affected.
What Should You Do Next?
If a medicine you’ve taken has been a cause for concern for other patients, it makes sense to question it.
For instance, there are several Xarelto class action lawsuits ongoing presently relating to the blood thinning medication from Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer. In the case of Xarelto, it prevents blood clotting until the lifespan of the medicine has passed. This can cause excessive bleeding from gastrointestinal areas and possibly the brain too.
People who have previously taken Xarelto and developed negative health outcomes are often choosing to contact lawyers who were putting together a class action suit against the pharmaceutical companies.
By taking care of our health and verifying that medicine is safe to consume even when it’s prescribed, we can protect ourselves better. Documenting adverse health outcomes after taking a strong medicine also provides important information that will be invaluable should the matter require a legal solution.