Millions of people rely on daily medication — from over-the-counter medications to treat minor sickness to sophisticated prescription drugs and vaccines to prevent or cure illness. We depend on drugs to treat pain, relieve symptoms of an illness or to help avoid getting sick at all.

Big pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money to develop a broad array of drugs to improve the health of people worldwide. In California and across the U.S., Americans expect nothing less than high quality and more importantly, safety, when using medications as directed.

However, pharmaceutical companies are businesses driven by bottom-line results. Sometimes they unwittingly develop and get FDA approval for drugs that may cause direct damage or indirect harm through unexpected side effects. In a highly regulated industry, you might wonder how this can happen: Here are some contributing factors:

  • Pharma is a very competitive industry and the next big blockbuster drug can mean millions of dollars. In the push to be first to market, unnecessary shortcuts may have been taken.
  • Under pressure to approve drugs quickly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can rush to judgment and not take the time to perform sufficient independent tests to corroborate the trial results supplied by the manufacturer. Also, long-term effects are not always evident.
  • The FDA is not infallible. Sometimes mistakes occur in the bureaucratic and complex drug approval process that can result in approval of a drug that can unknowingly cause serious side effects in patients.

The Drug Safety Program provided by the California Department of Public Health outlines your protection under the law. If you’ve been harmed or are experiencing undocumented side effects from a prescription drug, contact a California attorney experienced in product liability law for help.

By Kevin Quinn

Posted in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury