One county in New York is taking a big stand against big pharma and dangerous medication.
Early in September, Suffolk County on Long Island filed County of Suffolk v. Purdue Pharma, a case that hopes to hold the manufacturers of painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet accountable for the way they marketed their products.
The suit claims that these drugs are marketed in a way that misleads medical professionals and patients alike. They are lead to believe that the drugs are prescribed or administered without the possibility of addiction in mind.
Without knowing the power of these painkillers, they are administered in ways that caused increased opioid and heroin addiction. Suffolk claims this is a huge burden on taxpayers. Some burdens include increased costs of Medicaid expenditures and law enforcement. Law enforcement may also spend more time dealing with addicts and drug crime offenders. Additionally, county employees are unwittingly subjecting to painkillers and addictions.
Drug and pharmaceutical lawsuits are not just available to counties or other large organizations. If you have suffered damages from pharmaceutical drugs, it is possible to hold the manufacturer responsible and receive compensation.
Responsibility of Drug and Pharmaceutical Companies
But how exactly did all of this start? In the beginning, drug and pharma companies allegedly skewed their marketing and did not properly warn medical professionals and patients about the risk of becoming addicted to the medication. If proven in court, Suffolk County can win big.
Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn customers and medical professionals about the side effects of the drugs they are putting out on the market. Even if a reaction or certain symptoms are rare, they have to mention it in advertisements or instructions. That’s why in commercials for medication, you often hear, “Side effects may include…” and a long list of symptoms.
Possible Setbacks in Drug and Pharmaceutical Liability Cases
If your symptoms or injuries appear on that long list in commercials, you may have a long road ahead of you. Big pharma is “big” for a reason. A huge chunk of its work is striving to prevent harmful incidents (and, of course, the possibility of a resulting lawsuit).
In other cases, the prescription drugs aren’t related to specific symptoms, but simply labeled as “unavoidably unsafe.” While this sounds scary, products such as cosmetic products and dry-cleaning solvent also carry the label.
Another common use of this label is for prescription drugs. But since the benefits for many outweigh the potential risks, these products are released on the market with an extra warning label.
Holding a manufacturer responsible for injuries or damages from “unavoidably unsafe” products is usually difficult. Bringing products to court for marketing, manufacturing, or design defects, however, is much simpler.
Finding a specific batch or manufacturer to hold responsible for your injuries is another setback to the pharmaceutical industry.
Issues like these are why it is so important to consult with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney. You need to work with someone who understands what you’re up against and can point to a track record of success in handling these types of cases. With the right lawyer by your side, you have the best chance at getting the compensation you need and deserve.