It is important for prescription drug users in Louisiana to be aware of the potential side effects of the medications they are taking and avoid dangerous interactions. Sometimes, however, patients are simply not given enough information to make an informed decision about whether or not to use a drug. In these cases, defective drug lawsuits can arise. Here is a rundown of the legal basis for these types of lawsuits and one current defective drug lawsuit that has the potential to affect many patients in the United States.
As FindLaw explains, the fact that a drug has been approved by the FDA does not mean that it cannot later be found defective. The determination that a drug is defective has to do with the warnings and usage instructions provided by the manufacturer. Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn users about the known side-effects of using a drug. If a manufacturer has failed to live up to this duty by inadequately warning prescribers and patients, they may be held liable in court.
The Chicago Tribune reports on a current defective drug lawsuit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson centering on a blood thinner called Xarelto. According to some former Xarelto users, the drug makers failed to adequately warn patients about potential internal bleeding that could result from the use of Xarelto. While the manufacturers touted Xarelto as an effective replacement for other blood-thinning pharmaceuticals, plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that the drug was not a suitable replacement. While other blood thinners like Coumadin can also cause internal bleeding, there are known effective antidotes to stop the bleeding. Antidotes have not been discovered to stop Xarelto's bleeding, plaintiffs claim.
Over 18,000 past Xarelto users have signed up to become plaintiffs in lawsuits against the drug. These lawsuits can potentially be very costly to drug manufacturers. Past defective drug suits have resulted in settlements worth billions of dollars.