The system of ensuring drug safety developed many years ago and is quite complex. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires pharmaceutical companies to scientifically prove that their drugs are safe before they can sell them to the public, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter. If pharmaceutical companies’ tests show that their drugs can cause side effects, the FDA requires them to warn the public, and doctors are required to warn their patients of those risks.
Most of the time this process works as expected, and for the most part, drugs are safe. Sometimes, though, they do not. The drug was either inadequately tested or the side effects arose long after extended use. Consequently, medications sometimes injure people even though they used them correctly.
What Happens after a Drug Injury?
When people take a drug as directed and suffer unintended harmful side effects, they ask, “What’s next?” Thankfully, the civil justice system has been around even longer than the drug safety system: It allows injured drug users to file defective drug lawsuits against drug companies. To make a valid claim, drug users must use established theories of liability that are determined by state legislatures and state judiciaries. Here are the three most common ones:
- Defective manufacturing: The company improperly manufactured the otherwise safe drug;
- Defective design: The company properly manufactured the drug, but it caused unreasonably dangerous or serious side effects; or
- Failure to Warn: The patient’s physician, pharmacist, or the drug’s manufacturer had a duty to warn the patient of the drug’s tendency to cause a side effect but didn’t do so.
Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuits Are Valid Claims
Research has shown that Fosamax use correlates to unusual femur fractures and jaw bone death, and many people are suing its manufacturer, Merck, Inc. Most of them, though, are using the second claim, that Merck defectively designed Fosamax. This means plaintiffs must prove three things: They suffered an injury; the drug was defective; and causation, i.e. that Fosamax caused the injuries. Importantly, plaintiffs must have used the drug as directed.
Compensation Hinges on Proving the Claim
Not everyone who files a Fosamax lawsuit is guaranteed to win. There are circumstances in which a Fosamax user has a low probability of beating Merk. For example, those with no injuries will probably obtain no compensation. Those who are injured but in ways that aren’t consistent with Fosamax side effects might win less money, such as people who suffer high-impact femur fractures rather than low-impact ones. Finally, patients who misuse Fosamax are also unlikely to receive compensation.
RLG Advocates for Users of Defective Drugs
If you are currently taking Fosamax, you should consult with your physician as to whether continued use of the drug is the best course of action. If you think Fosamax caused you to suffer an unusual bone break, then talking to a lawyer is wise move because you might be able to gain compensation from Merck for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Click on this link or call 1-877-476-1516 and a lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group will reach out to you as soon as possible and give you a free, confidential legal consultation.