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Pharmaceutical Malpractice - Prescription Drugs

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Legal recourse for when medicine harms someone - Have you or someone you know been victimized by prescription drugs?

Pharmaceutical malpractice (or pharmaceutical negligence) lawsuits- are one of the fastest growing types of personal injury lawsuits that there is. Pharmaceutical malpractice is very common and the foundation for these lawsuits is prescription medication. The pharmaceutical malpractice lawsuits are filed based on: drug recalls; product failure; long-term side effects of prescription drugs; improperly prescribed medication and improperly filled prescriptions.

Why are drug recalls so common today? Some key reasons are as follows:

  • Increased pressure for both profits and medical relief causes many drugs to be rushed to market.
  • Long term side effects are difficult to determine
  • Conflict of interest: the testing that is done on some prescription drugs, is done by the same pharmaceutical companies which are "under the gun" to get those drugs on the market

In most cases, someone has to die or suffer injury before a prescription drug is recalled.

In the cases which involve improperly filled prescriptions, there are typically two different kinds of cases:

  • A prescription that is prescribed contradicts another prescription that the patient is already taking. Either the pharmacist or the doctor would be liable.
  • A pharmacist gives an incorrect medication or an incorrect dosage of the correct medication. Either the pharmacist or the doctor would be liable.

In cases where a properly prescribed medication causes serious side effects or illnesses, the drug manufacturer would be liable.

There have been numerous recalls of prescription drugs in recent years. And there have been other prescription drugs which have had problematic safety records. Here are some of the prescription drugs which fall into those categories:

Rezulin: a drug prescribed for blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Rezulin has been recalled due to liver toxicity.

Baycol: a drug designed to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Baycol was voluntarily recalled because of a number of instances where usage of it caused rhambdomyolysis- a rare condition in which serious muscle damage results from the release of muscle cell contents into the bloodstream.

Fen-Phen: Fen-phen is a combination of fenfluromine and phentermine. Fen-Phen had been approved for many years as an appetite suppressant in the management of obesity. The trouble with this drug combo is that it has been found to cause heart valve disease.

Celebrex: A Cox-2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and later approved as a drug treatment aimed at reducing the number of intestinal polyps in patients who have familial adenotamous polyposis. Now there are concerns that Celebrex usage may increase the risk of heart attack or strokes in some people who take it.

Vioxx: a treatment for osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and management of acute pain in adults. As with Celebrex, there are concerns that the use of Vioxx might increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

OxyContin: a strong narcotic pain reliever. OxyContin has been linked to patient deaths, addiction, and suffering.

Meridia: diet pills which have been known to cause serious and sometimes fatal side effects. Meridia can cause PPH (primary pulmonary hypertension) as well as cardiac valve dysfunction.

Prempro: hormone replacement therapy. Studies have shown that usage of Prempro increases a healthy woman's risk of heart attack by 29%, breast cancer by 24%, stroke by 41%, and blood clots by 200%.

Propulsid: a drug approved for patients with severe heartburn or gastro esophageal reflux. When taken in combination with other drugs, Propulsid can cause irregular or abnormal heart rhythms.

Serzone: an oral anti-depressant which is used to treat moderate to severe symptoms of depression. The FDA has determined that usage of Serzone can increase the risk of liver failure by 3-4 times.

Zithromax: a highly popular but very potent antibiotic, used to treat mild to moderate infections. Zithromax has been known to cause liver damage, jaundice, liver failure and even deaths.

Sulzer Hip Implants: these hip implants have been recalled in the past, due to a manufacturing problem.

PPA: Phenylpropanolamine is an ingredient in over the counter cough and cold medicines (Has in the past been an ingredient in such products as Robitussin and Alka-Seltzer). Usage of PPA can result in hemorrhagic stroke in some patients who use it.

If you or someone that you know and love has been victimized by using these or any other prescription drugs, consult with a qualified personal injury attorney immediately. Be sure to contact an attorney who has experience in dealing with pharmaceutical negligence cases.

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Please Note:
Statutes of limitation may apply and determine how long you have to file a lawsuit. In the case of personal injury litigation, the type of injury as well as the state the injury occurred in are some of the factors used to determine the length of time you have in which to file a lawsuit. Read the statute of limitations in your state.

Steven J. Williams, P.C.
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