Medical injuries come in all forms from side effects of prescription drugs to surgical devices and implants which cause harm.
Serious injuries caused by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices are on the rise, regardless of actions (or inactions) by federal agencies and health authorities, and/or your physician and pharmacist. As recent recalls have shown, FDA approval doesn't guarantee that a drug is safe; having defective drugs and defective medical devices on the market can lead to significant health risks including serious injury, disabilities and hospitalization. In some cases, defective medical products can lead to more intensive surgeries than were originally necessary to correct the damage caused by the defect.
Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to make drugs safe for the marketplace; in many cases they are asked to provide warning labels to physicians and (in the case of medications) the pharmacy that dispenses their product. But all too often drug companies are aware that a drug can cause harmful drug side effects and can cause injury or death--and they may choose profit over safety.
Although drugs are often recalled due to drug side effects, some pharmaceutical companies rush a product to market and/or aggressively promote the drug by persuading consumers to ask for the drug and convincing physicians to prescribe it. In their rush to design the next "blockbuster" drug, pharmaceutical companies through their decisions, action and/or inaction, can put the consumer at risk.
Bad Drug Lawsuits
When you get a prescription for a drug from your physician, you believe it to be safe. But according to the US Food and Drug Administration, "safe" means that the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks for the population the drug is intended to treat and for its intended use. In other words, a safe drug doesn't necessarily mean it is harmless.
A defective drug means that its potential risks outweigh its possible benefits to the consumer and can lead to bad drug lawsuits.
Defective Medical Devices
Medical device manufacturers have a responsibility to make medical devices safe for the marketplace. Consumers complain that medical devices, while designed to help, can cause additional irreversible injuries. As with defective drugs, defects in medical devices can occur from inadequate testing, rushing the approval process to get a product on the market, over promotion of device or problems which arise in the market after introduction.
Many medical consumers may suffer injury caused by a defective medical device. A defective medical device is either flawed in design, manufacture, inadequate instructions or insufficient warnings and it does not achieve its intended purpose. Another defect may be in warnings to physicians and to consumers. The prescribing physician must be warned of any dangerous potential risks associated with a medical device.
Defective medical devices can include shoulder pain pumps; shoulder, elbow, hip and knee replacements; dialysis machines; defibrillators; heart valves; stents, and more.
According to an article in the Washington Post:
Nearly 2,500 medical devices were recalled for potential safety problems in 2008 The FDA only requires comprehensive tracking of 14 types of devices (including pacemakers, mechanical heart valves, breast implants) Over 100 "Class I" recall notices went out from January to July 2009—regarding defects that are serious enough to cause a reasonable probability of adverse health consequences or death. Over 1,000 recall notices went out from January to July 2009.