If a drug is dangerous or defective, how does that drug make it to a store shelf for purchase? Why does the pharmacy have drugs that could cause harm or injury? Do doctors know they are prescribing dangerous drugs to their patients?

Many people who are injured by a dangerous or defective drug ask our attorneys why this drug was ever allowed to be sold to consumers. Unfortunately, just because a drug is marketed and sold it does not mean the drug is 100 percent safe. Furthermore, just because a drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not mean the drug does not have dangerous side effects.

Getting a Drug to Market

When a new drug is manufactured, the drug company is responsible for testing the drug and conducting trial studies.  The information is provided to the FDA with the application for approval to market the drug. The FDA conducts limited drug testing; however, it relies mostly on the information provided by the drug companies. Since drug companies are interested in profits, some of the information they provide to the FDA may not be complete or contain information that could prevent the drug from being approved. Therefore, a defective drug is approved to be marketed and sold.

However, there are other ways a dangerous drug can make it into the hands of a consumer. After a drug goes to market, dangerous side effects might be discovered. When the FDA is notified of injuries and side effects, it might issue a Safety Alert or other warning. In some cases, the FDA might require a drug manufacturer to include certain warnings on the drug’s packaging. Even though the side effect can be life-threatening, the FDA may not recommend that the drug should be removed from the market.

In addition, a drug can be dangerous if it is used to treat conditions other than the condition approved by the FDA. “Off-label” uses are common for some drugs. The drug representatives advise doctors that a certain drug has also been shown to be effective in treating additional conditions not listed on the drug’s FDA approval.  A doctor may prescribe the drug to a patient for this condition, not realizing that the drug can have dangerous and life-threatening side effects when used in a patient with certain medical conditions.

Side Effects of Dangerous and Defective Drugs

Each drug has certain side effects; however, some side effects may not be discovered until after the drug is marketed to the general public. Drug companies have a duty to disclose known side effects and potential side effects. If additional side effects are discovered, the company should update the medication’s instructions to include this additional information.

Some of the side effects that are associated with defective drugs include:

  • Increased risk of certain cancers
  • Birth defects
  • Nerve damage
  • Damage to the liver and kidneys
  • Blood clots
  • Alopecia or permanent hair loss
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Stocks and hemorrhagic strokes
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Increases risk of amputations
  • Death

Patients who experience side effects after taking medication should report these side effects to their doctor immediately.

Examples of Defective Drugs on the Market

Our nationwide defective drug attorneys handle cases involving several drugs including:

If you have been injured after taking a drug, contact our office for a free case evaluation. Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans defective product attorney.