Hands pouring pill out of pill bottle You take prescription and over-the-counter medications with the hope that those drugs will treat your medical condition and help you live a healthier and better-quality life. While medications are supposed to undergo rigorous clinical testing to ensure their efficacy and safety and are supposed to be manufactured under the highest safety standards, too often, pharmaceutical companies put dangerous drugs on the market. 

Medications may be considered dangerous when they have an unreasonably high risk of causing serious or even fatal side effects, or because problems with the manufacturing of the medication itself, such as a defect or contamination, make the drug unsafe to use. Pharmaceutical companies that market dangerous drugs should be held accountable when unsuspecting patients suffer harm for over 25 years. 

If you’ve been hurt by a dangerous drug, turn to the attorneys of Ward Black Law for help pursuing financial compensation for your losses. Our firm has helped injured victims across North Carolina seek recovery and justice from those parties at fault for inflicting harm. 

Our attorneys take the time to help you understand your rights and walk you through the process of pursuing a claim. We strive to provide honest, exceptional legal representation so you can rest assured that your attorneys are fighting as hard as possible to advocate for your interests and recovery.

Contact our firm today for a confidential case review at no charge to you. You can speak with one of our knowledgeable dangerous drug lawyers about your case for free and without obligations. Don’t wait to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing financial compensation from those responsible for the harm you’ve suffered.

What Makes a Drug Dangerous?

Although virtually any drug carries a risk of causing side effects, adverse interactions with other medications, or other injury or harm, in most cases, this risk is outweighed by the benefits of taking the medication. 

Some drugs generally have minimal risk of adverse effects. Other drugs may have higher risks of more harmful effects but have the benefit of treating debilitating or life-threatening conditions. When a drug has risks of harm that outweigh the benefits of its use – especially when those risks are unknown to a patient and their physician – that drug may be considered dangerous. 

A prescription medication may be considered a dangerous drug when a pharmaceutical company releases the drug onto the market without performing adequate clinical trials to identify all the potential adverse side effects or determine the size of the risk of such side effects. In some cases, a pharmaceutical company may fail to perform an adequate review of clinical trial data, which may lead the company to underestimate the risks of dangerous side effects. 

Pharmaceutical companies may also fail to recognize that newly developed drugs have adverse interactions with other drugs on the market that patients may be taking. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies have a strong financial incentive to put drugs onto the market as quickly as possible, which can lead companies to rush through the clinical trial process. 

A drug may also be considered dangerous when it is sold without adequate warnings about potential side effects and the risk that such side effects may occur. As a result, neither the patient nor their physician may adequately appreciate the risks of a certain medication due to the lack of adequate warnings. 

Certain categories of drugs are also considered dangerous because pharmaceutical companies pressure doctors to prescribe and over-prescribe those drugs. For example, the current opioid crisis across the U.S. has been blamed on physicians’ excessive prescribing of opioid pain medications to numerous patients despite the extremely addictive nature of opioids, with physicians’ prescription habits motivated in part by the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured opioids.

A drug may become dangerous due to problems that occur during the manufacturing process, such as contamination of the medication or manufacturing defects that make the drug dangerous for a patient to ingest or use.

Types of Drug Injury Cases

Pharmaceutical companies have a duty under the law to ensure that the drugs they market are reasonably safe. They should continue to monitor patients’ use of the drug and take appropriate actions when new adverse effects or increased risks of adverse effects are discovered. 

Drug injury cases can arise due to various types of errors, negligence, or recklessness that can be committed by pharmaceutical companies, such as:

  • Inadequate clinical testing, which fails to reveal increased risks of severe or life-threatening side effects in a large number of users of a medication
  • Drugs that cause previously unknown long-term side effects
  • Insufficient warnings regarding side-effects or the risk of adverse effects from using a medication, which leaves doctors and patients unable to adequately weigh the benefits of a medication against its potential risks
  • False advertising, when pharmaceutical companies deliberately conceal that their drug has unreasonably high risks of causing serious adverse effects or conceal or suppress adverse interaction reports once a drug has been placed on the market
  • Deliberately pushing physicians to over-prescribe medications with a high risk of adverse side effects or abuse, including offering financial incentives to physicians for prescribing those medications

What Drugs Can Be Dangerous?

Big pharmaceutical companies have put out all kinds of dangerous drugs over the years due to inadequate clinical trial and safety testing or shoddy manufacturing that led to contamination. Examples of pharmaceutical drugs that have been shown or are believed to cause or lead to an increased risk of harmful side effects and serious medical conditions include:

  • Actos – A medication used to treat bladder problems linked to increased risk of bladder cancer
  • Avastin – A cancer therapy drug used to treat breast cancers shown to have unacceptably high risks (compared to treatment benefits) of severe bleeding, blood clots, and stroke
  • Belviq – A weight-loss drug linked to increased cancer rates
  • Benicar – Hypertension medication that may lead to gastrointestinal problems like chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and permanent damage to the intestines
  • Byetta – A drug used to treat diabetes that may lead to increased risk of pancreatic cancer
  • Elmiron – A blood thinner also used to treat bladder issues linked to vision problems and vision loss such as macular degeneration, retinopathy, macular dystrophy, and retinal pigment epithelium atrophy.
  • Fentanyl pain patches – Manufacturing defects in the patches allowed direct skin contact with a powerful dose of the opioid fentanyl that might lead to overdose and death
  • Fosamax – A prescription drug used to treat bone loss potentially linked to necrosis of the jawbones
  • Invokana – A diabetes drug wich potentially increased risks of decreased bone density and bone fractures
  • Levaquin and Cipro – Antibiotics that may cause heart damage and increase the risks of an aneurysm, aortic dissection, and bicept rupture. 
  • Lipitor – A cholesterol-lowering medication suspected to lead to increased sugar levels and Type 2 diabetes in women
  • Oxycontin and Vicodin – Opioids that have extremely high risks of addiction, which may lead to overdose from abuse of other opiates
  • Paxil and Zoloft – Antidepressants thought to be linked to increased risk of birth defects in children whose mothers have taken the drug
  • Pradaxa – A blood-thinning medication used to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation but that may lead to cardiac injury for patients with irregular cardiac rhythms due to valve problems
  • Topamax – An anti-epilepsy drug, also used off-label to treat obesity, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism, that may lead to an increased risk of birth defects when used during pregnancy
  • Truvada – A drug used to reduce the risk of HIV infection that also may cause decreased bone density from long-term use
  • Zantac, Nexium, and Prilosec – Medications to treat acid reflux that may increase the risk of cancers in the stomach, liver, or esophagus

What Types of Compensation Could I Get?

If you’ve suffered adverse side effects or other medical conditions as a result of taking dangerous or defective prescription drugs, you might be entitled to seek compensation for the losses you’ve suffered due to your injuries, including for:

  • Costs of medical treatment and recovery, including hospitalizations, surgeries and other medical procedures, prescription medication, and rehabilitation/therapy
  • Long-term care expenses, including home health services or other home and personal care assistance
  • Lost wages and earning capacity if you are disabled from working
  • Lost quality of life due to disfigurement or disability caused by dangerous drugs
  • Pain and suffering, or the physical anguish and emotional distress caused by your injuries
  • Loss of consortium, which compensates your spouse or other close family members for the loss of your companionship and society because of your injuries

Families of patients who die as a result of the use of dangerous drugs may also be entitled to seek wrongful death damages from the responsible pharmaceutical manufacturer. 

Contact a Dangerous Drugs Lawyer in Greensboro, NC Today

If you’ve been harmed by dangerous pharmaceuticals anywhere in North Carolina, don’t let another day go by without starting the process of pursuing compensation for the injuries and losses you’ve endured. Contact a Greensboro, NC dangerous drugs lawyer at Ward Black Law today by phone, text, or email for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how our firm can help you seek the recovery you need and deserve.