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Dangerous Drugs and Defective Medical Devices

Here's why you need an attorney if you were injured or a loved one died

Under the law, pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers can be held accountable when they sell products that threaten patients' health - which, sadly, happens all too often. Side effects of prescription medications kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, and defective medical devices can be just as deadly. Manufacturers are responsible for carefully testing each product and disclosing potential risks to medical professionals and patients.

Cases involving dangerous drugs and defective medical devices, which are part of the broader legal field of product liability, involve some form of negligence on the part of the manufacturer or distributor of the drug. In some cases, manufacturers make errors in the design of the drug or test the product inadequately, ramming it through the FDA approval process. In other cases, errors in the manufacturing process itself are to blame.

Perhaps most disturbingly, in many cases the company is aware of the dangers associated with a drug or medical device and deliberately chooses not to disclose that information. Pharmaceutical companies may even make false claims or misrepresent facts in order to convince consumers that their drugs are safe.

Some of the common dangerous drugs and products at the center of lawsuits are:

Even when they're clearly in the wrong, big pharmaceutical companies are formidable foes in a legal setting. They have huge legal budgets and well-paid attorneys to help reduce their costs as much as possible. That's why you need an experienced attorney on your side.

Take back control. Contact Barclay Law, LLC. Call 866-584-1023 or fill out our online inquiry form and schedule a free consultation.  We realize you might be frustrated, perhaps even scared or confused. Don't give up. Take action. Contact us. We're on your side and ready to stand up for you.

IVC Filters

Manufactured by C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have been linked to internal injuries and other complications, resulting in litigation.

IVC filters are small, umbrella-like devices inserted surgically into the inferior vena cava, a blood vessel that returns blood to the heart from the lower extremities. The device catches blood clots and prevents them from entering the heart and lungs. IVC filters are generally used in patients at risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) who cannot take anticoagulants (blood thinners).

In most cases, the filter is meant to be removed once the risk of PE has subsided. However, in thousands of cases, filters have been left in the body for too long, leading to serious injury or death. IVC filters can break apart or migrate to other parts of the body, causing organ damage and internal bleeding. Some of the side effects associated with defective IVC filters are:

  • Heart Damage
  • Lung Damage
  • Nerve Injury
  • Severe Pain
  • Infection
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary Embolism

In addition to injuries caused by filters migrating or breaking apart, these defective medical devices have been linked in some cases to an increase in blood clots - the very condition the filter is supposed to treat.

Lawsuits allege that Bard and Cook failed to conduct appropriate testing, ignored or misrepresented the risk of complications and failed to appropriately inform patients and medical professionals of those risks. These suits not only concern the damage done by IVC filters already, but also the cost of ongoing monitoring for patients who still have the filters implanted.

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Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is a prescription blood-thinning medication linked to potentially deadly uncontrolled bleeding and other harmful side effects. Xarelto lawsuits have already been filed in Alabama and throughout the United States by patients who have experienced side effects and families who have lost loved ones after taking Xarelto.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2011, Xarelto is an over-the-counter anticoagulant drug prescribed for three primary uses: to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat); recover from knee or hip surgery; and to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). FDA changed its boxed warning on Xarelto to alert doctors about potentially deadly side effects in March 2014.

What are Xarelto side effects?

Taken orally, Xarelto has been linked to an increased risk of serious bleeding in patients. According to the Institute for Safe Medications Practices, a "strong signal" indicated the risks of the prescription medication warranted an alert to the public and required further investigation by the scientific community.

Xarelto has been linked to the following dangerous side effects:

  • Sudden and long-lasting bleeding, including nose bleeds, gum bleeding and excessive menstrual or vaginal bleeding
  • Red, pink or brown urine
  • Stools with a red or tar-like appearance
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Headaches, dizziness and fatigue
  • Pain, swelling or bleeding at wound sites

While all anticoagulant medications carry a risk of uncontrolled bleeding events, studies have suggested Xarelto's risk to be higher than other blood-thinning medications. That's because unlike other anticoagulants, Xarelto has no antidote to reverse its effects in the event of a medical emergency.

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Zofran, or its generic equivalent ondansetron, is a commonly prescribed anti-nausea medication. Originally, Zofran was intended to treat cancer patients who grew sick after chemotherapy or other treatments, and it was approved by the FDA for that purpose. However, its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), soon started providing the medication to pregnant women for the treatment of morning sickness - even though it had never been tested and found safe for use during pregnancy.

When used during pregnancy, Zofran has been linked to serious birth defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate, heart defects, club foot and skull deformities. These side effects are particularly tragic because many women turned to Zofran to treat hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that can cause malnutrition for both the mother and unborn baby. Instead of protecting those children from malnutrition, Zofran caused severe birth defects with lifelong implications.

Lawsuits have alleged a number of claims against GSK, including:

  • Producing a defective drug.
  • Not determining safety risks before selling the drug.
  • Advertising the drug as a safe treatment for morning sickness even though it had not been approved for that purpose.
  • Misrepresenting study results to show that the drug was safe.
  • Making false and fraudulent claims regarding the drug's safety.

GSK paid out billions as part of a legal settlement for fraud and illegal promotion of Zofran and other drugs in 2012. Now, further lawsuits are putting the company on the defensive again regarding specific allegations about Zofran.

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