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What if your prescribed medication causes you severe harm?

If you have experienced adverse side effects that posed a severe threat to your life or health after taking prescribed medication, you may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit to recover financial and other losses. Any pharmaceutical drug sold nationwide, including in Mississippi, must not pose serious health threats to patients. 

Monitoring pharmaceutical drug safety is the job of the Food and Drug Administration that is a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Any medication that contains a drug that may cause harm to a patient can be recalled. Such action will require patients to return or discard the dangerous drugs.

The role of the Food and Drug Administration

The involvement of the FDA starts even before pharmaceutical drugs land on the shelves of pharmacies. The agency must approve all drugs before manufacturers can offer them for sale. Monitoring by the FDA continues, and it maintains an online reporting platform for consumers to report interactions and side effects. Manufacturers receive this information, and the FDA makes sure drug labels show updated details of health risks and reported side effects. Along with studies by researchers who compare similar drugs, the FDA can address the majority of problems without affecting recalls.

Reasons for Recalls

When pharmaceutical drugs pose unanticipated health risks once after they are in distribution, the FDA will evaluate every case individually before recommending a recall. The more common reasons for recalls include the following:

  • Previously unidentified health risks -- Further studies or experiences by patients may reveal the potential for a particular drug to pose increased risks of strokes, kidney failures, heart attacks or more.
  • Unanticipated drug interactions -- Certain drugs may cause unexpected health problems when used in conjunction with other specific drugs or even vitamins or particular food types.
  • Packaging or manufacturing problems -- Even drugs that have been on the market for years may need to be recalled if a packaging malfunction occurred or in the event of contamination during the manufacturing process.

Manufacturers may issue voluntary product recalls for several reasons. These may include receiving a significant number of negative patient reports or complaints, clinical trials indicating severe health risks, or manufacturing problems. Recalls are mostly voluntary, even if at the suggestion of the FDA. However, occasionally, the federal agency must enforce a recall.

Where to find help and support if you were a victim

While this may all be very informative, it might be too late to prevent the consequences you suffered after taking an unsafe medication. Regardless of whether the pharmaceutical drug that caused your condition and subsequent financial losses had been recalled, you may have a viable claim. The most appropriate step might be to consult with an experienced product liability attorney who can provide the necessary guidance and support throughout the legal proceedings that may follow in pursuit of recovery of your damages.

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