Without medications, many people would suffer needlessly, and some may even die. Advances in the pharmaceutical industry have helped millions of people across the country, including many here in Texas. However, some of the drugs currently on the market may end up causing health issues that are considered worse than the conditions for which doctors prescribe them.
Many of the pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors come with side effects, some of which may be serious or even life threatening. Doctors must weigh the potential benefits of a certain medication against the risks associated with a patient taking it. The problem is that in some cases, a drug could be on the market for a considerable amount of time before its true dangers reveal themselves. When that happens, that medication needs to be removed from the market.
When does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration step in?
The FDA doesn’t stop monitoring a drug once it approves it for release into the market. If the agency receives reports of issues with the drug, it may require the manufacturer to update the medication’s warning labels to include new interaction issues, side effects and health risks.
In some cases, however, the issues with a drug become so dangerous that additional action is required. This may happen under the following circumstances:
- Clinical trials indicate that serious health complications, including death, can occur.
- Researchers, patients or medical personnel discover potentially serious drug interactions.
- The number of complaints regarding adverse health consequences rises to an alarming level.
- Packaging and manufacturing errors result in medication leaving the facility with some sort of contamination that could make a drug dangerous for patients to consume.
In many cases, drug manufacturers will “voluntarily” issue a recall of a medication due to one of the above issues. However, you may find it interesting to know that the FDA often requests that the company initiate the recall in this manner. In some cases, the FDA will step in and force a company to recall a product when the manufacturer refuses to do so for some reason.
How will you know there is a recall for your medication?
The FDA’s database provides a list of recalled pharmaceuticals, but how would you know to check that database to see if your medication is on it? Most often, manufacturers, working closely with the FDA, will take measures to inform doctors, hospitals and even consumers, if possible, that a drug is subject to a recall.
The problem is that many people do not hear about recalls until it is too late. You may have been taking a medication for some time and may already be experiencing serious health complications because of it. By the time the information reaches your doctor and you, the damage to your body may be irreversible.
What happens if you suffer health issues due to a recalled drug?
If you are among the numerous people who suffer serious health issues due to taking a certain medication, or you lost a loved one from its use, you may be able to file a claim seeking compensation for your financial losses and other damages. In order to know for sure, it may be worth your while to discuss the matter with an attorney.