The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), clinical trials, and testing should ensure consumers receive medications that are safe and effective. While most prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are safe, some have led to serious side effects and permanent health issues.
As a result, some victims have joined class action lawsuits against drug manufacturers that failed to warn about certain risks or dangerous side effects. If you or someone you love suffered from a serious health issue linked to a medication, you should consider taking legal action.
It can be hard to know if joining a pharmaceutical class action lawsuit is in your best interest, especially if you’ve suffered through pain or loss. A qualified attorney can offer insight and guidance for whether you should join a class action suit.
Understanding Class-Action Lawsuits Against Pharmaceutical Companies
Pharmaceutical lawsuits are sometimes referred to as “bad drug” lawsuits. Bad drug lawsuits argue a defective medication caused unintended harm to a patient or patients seeking damages.
A pharmaceutical class action lawsuit is when a group of people affected by the same drug come together to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. This suggests the scope of the drug’s harm is far-reaching and has caused suffering in numerous people’s lives.
As a result, a class action lawsuit fights for a group of people who are collectively represented by a single member of the group, or one or more law firms.
If you become part of a class action lawsuit, you won’t pay any legal fees upfront. Your attorneys will be paid at the end of the case by collecting a percentage of the settlement.
Consider some examples of pharmaceutical class action lawsuits:
- prescription drug class action lawsuits
- over-the-counter (OTC) class action lawsuits
- opioid class action lawsuits
- antidepressant class action lawsuits
Prescription Drug Class Action Lawsuits
Prescription drugs encompass a wide range of medications. If you’ve suffered a serious illness from taking a prescription drug, then you may not be alone. Others may have suffered and joined a class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company.
Some prescription drug class action lawsuits include:
Valsartan treats high blood pressure and requires a prescription. The current lawsuit claims that several batches of valsartan were contaminated with substances that caused liver, kidney, or stomach cancer. Other medications that contain valsartan have been recalled.
Zostavazx is a vaccine used to prevent shingles. This class action claim is against Merck, a drug manufacturer that failed to warn doctors and patients that this vaccine can cause shingles.
Tenofovir is a prescription medication used to treat HIV and hepatitis B infections. This medication led to kidney disease and bone injuries in some patients. Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer, was aware of the risk but never removed it from the market.
Pradaxa is a blood thinner that treats blood clots and prevents stroke. This prescription drug was unfortunately linked to an overwhelming number of severe bleeding cases, including several fatalities. There have been many wrongful death lawsuits filed against drug manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim because of Pradaxa.
This medication treats diarrhea and abdominal pain for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The lawsuit stems from a failure to warn patients and doctors that people missing their gallbladder are at risk of pancreatitis. The FDA was made aware of over 100 reports of patients who contracted pancreatitis as a result of Viberzi.
Jardiance helps lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. This prescription drug, along with Farixga, can increase the risk of contracting Fournier’s Gangrene. The lawsuits claim that the drug manufacturer failed to warn patients about this risk.
Over-The-Counter (OTC) Class Action Lawsuits
Although many pharmaceutical class action lawsuits involve prescription drugs, other medications involved in litigation are available over-the-counter (OTC). A couple OTC medications with class action lawsuits include:
Zantac is a medication designed to treat and prevent heartburn. It may also treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stomach ulcers. Zantac was reported to be contaminated with a substance that causes cancer. The lawsuit alleges drug makers Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim should have known about this cancer-causing chemical.
Prilosec And Nexium Lawsuits
These over-the-counter medications treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and GERD. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer by people who have suffered stroke, bone fractures, heart damage, and other injuries as a result of long-term use.
Opioid Class Action Lawsuits
Opioids claim the lives of thousands of Americans each year. In 2017 alone, over 70,000 people died from an opioid-related overdose. This massive loss of life has taken a toll on communities and families, with many cities, counties, and states joining class action lawsuits against major opioid manufacturers.
These government agencies across the United States are seeking significant compensation for the tremendous health and social costs these drugs have on its residents and communities.
Some of the brand name opioid drugs that have been named in class action lawsuits include:
- Hysingla ER
Antidepressant Class Action Lawsuits
Antidepressants are another type of prescription drug involved in class action lawsuits. Some reported side effects of antidepressants include increased suicidal ideation and behavior in adults, teens, and children.
Lawsuits have also claimed birth defects from mothers taking antidepressants, including brain and skull defects, respiratory distress, and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) in newborns.
Some brand name antidepressants associated with lawsuits include:
Types Of Pharmaceutical Class Action Lawsuits
If there is a class action lawsuit against a drug manufacturer, then the legal team is likely using tactics similar to other product liability lawsuits. You and your attorney will need to show the medication had one or more of the following defects:
1. Marketing Defects
A marketing defect for prescription medications is also known as a failure-to-warn claim. This could refer to insufficient instructions on a drug label, inadequate safety warnings, or general flaws in marketing practices or tactics.
For example, a prescription medication may have been marketed to treat a condition it had never been tested for. In some cases, such reckless or aggressive marketing has led to serious health consequences.
2. Dangerous Side Effects (Design Defect)
A design defect refers to when a drug is appropriately manufactured but comes with too many unwanted side effects that make its use unsafe. As a result, the medication is considered dangerous and defective. Design defects can also involve medical devices.
3. Manufacturing Defects
This type of lawsuit involves some kind of mistake in the manufacturing process. The overall design of the drug is effective and the marketing is fair, but the ingredients were tainted or another problem occurred when the drug was made.
Who Is Held Liable In A Pharmaceutical Class Action Lawsuit?
As the above lawsuits show, drug manufacturers can be held liable for their products that caused harm among patients. However, the entire chain of the drug’s distribution may be held liable. This could be any individual or entity that was involved in the time that the drug was manufactured to the time a patient filled a prescription.
Those liable in pharmaceutical class action lawsuits include:
These are generally massive corporations because of the ever-growing market for prescription drugs. Although this means plaintiffs can collect significant damages, big pharmaceutical companies will likely have hordes of powerful attorneys on retainer to fight against a claim.
A testing laboratory is responsible for conducting a series of tests before the drug lands on the market. If these laboratories are separate from the manufacturer, they could be held liable in certain cases.
Pharmaceutical Sales Reps
Big pharma companies employ sales representatives to sell their drugs to doctors and medical professionals. These reps may make recommendations for how to prescribe and use the drug and are incentivized to make as many sales as possible. They may be held liable if the medication they sold caused injury or harm.
Doctors or physicians prescribing bad drugs may also be held liable. They are a crucial part of the chain of distribution and can be held legally responsible for failing to warn you about any known risks or side effects associated with the medication.
The pharmacy is where most people go to finally obtain the medication. If the pharmacist failed to instruct you on safe way to use the medication, and it resulted in an injury of some kind, then the pharmacist may be held liable for damages.
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Can You Sue A Pharmaceutical Company On Your Own?
Although you can technically sue a pharmaceutical company on your own, it’s not advised. These lawsuits are costly and take a lot of time. That’s why it’s recommended to join a class action lawsuit that involves multiple parties. This helps courts avoid seeing hundreds of plaintiffs for the same case and allows individuals to collect damages without breaking the bank.
How Do You Join A Pharmaceutical Class Action Lawsuit?
The best way to join a class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company is to consult with a qualified attorney.
You’ll likely not be involved with the day-to-day aspects of the case, but will have to convey information to your attorney that may include:
- your medical history
- your injury
- how you obtained the medication
- how or if the medication diminished your quality of life
- any losses or damages your experienced
- other details of the case
Statute Of Limitations For Pharmaceutical Lawsuits
The statute of limitations, or how much time you have to join a pharmaceutical class action lawsuit, will depend on the state. Besides state laws, the statute of limitations can be further complicated because you may not have experienced any injury until months or years after receiving the medication.
However, an experienced legal team can assess your situation and find legal solutions for extending the cause of action for a fair trial. It’s best to consult with an attorney who can help you understand your legal options.
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How An Attorney Can Help With A Pharmaceutical Class Action Lawsuit
Your attorney will be invaluable for making a claim against a pharmaceutical company, which is likely a massive corporation. Some pharmaceutical companies aren’t even located in the United States, which further complicates litigation.
You’ll also need an attorney to help you get involved with a class action lawsuit. They’ll help guide you through the complexities of the case and provide the resources necessary to ensure you’re financially compensated for your loss or injury.
An attorney can help you prove your pharmaceutical class action case by showing three things:
- you were injured or experienced loss
- you were injured or experienced loss as a result of taking the medication
- the medication lead to injuries or losses you were never warned about
Pharmaceutical Lawsuit Attorneys Serving The United States
Suffering loss or injury as the result of a medication entitles you to seek damages. This is a complicated process that requires a team of skilled and qualified attorneys.
At Florin|Roebig, we’ll help you join a class action lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug that caused you harm.
Our qualified team of pharmaceutical attorneys includes:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Michael L. Walker, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Neil P. O’Brien, M.B.A.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- Parker Y. Florin, LL.M.
- Taylor D. Roebig
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Brian R. Dettman, O.C.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Contact Us Today For Help Filing A Pharmaceutical Class Action Lawsuit
Medications are prescribed to improve your health, not to make matters worse. If you took any medication that caused you harm, consult with our team of attorneys to determine if there is a relevant pharmaceutical class action lawsuit available.
At Florin|Roebig, we’ll stand by you and use all our resources to hold the company accountable for any wrongdoing. Contact us today to start a free case evaluation to determine your best course of legal action.