Pharmaceutical Liability

Litigation against some of the world's largest drug makers and manufacturers of dietary supplements has been a major area of the firm’s practice. Howard Specter and John Evans have held leadership positions and represented hundreds of people in prosecution of many of the recent mass pharmaceutical cases, including the Baycol® litigation, the silicone breast implant litigation, and Gammagard® IVIG litigation, to name just a few. The firm’s representation of people injured by dangerous drugs and devices has been both as individuals and as a part of a class action, depending upon the degree of injury and the type of case.

The firm’s pharmaceutical and dietary supplement practice is managed by Howard Specter, John Evans and Megan Faust.

Many people believe a drug must be safe if the FDA approved it for sale. That just isn't the case. The drug manufacturer conducts clinical trials, drafts label claims and recommends clinical indications. Literature is collected by the drug maker and sent to the FDA. Early clinical trials to get FDA approval are closely monitored by doctors who are sponsored by the drug maker. Patients who demonstrate adverse reactions to a given drug are removed from the study. That's why side effects associated with a given drug often do not appear until after the drug is on the market. The burden is on the manufacturer, not the government, to make a safe drug and to adequately warn doctors and patients of potential side effects associated with the drug’s use.

The situation with dietary supplements is even worse. The Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA), lobbied for by industry, effectively tied the hands of the government in trying to determine if a product was safe and effective prior to its being released into the marketplace. You may have noticed on late night TV all of the products being advertised to cause you to "lose weight, get smarter, develop a better memory or have a better sex life" all claiming to be all-natural "dietary supplements." There is a good reason for this: If the product is a "dietary supplement," the manufacturer/maker or producer saves about $35 million. That is the average cost of getting a prescription drug from an idea to the pharmacy shelf.

Dietary supplements don’t have to undergo any laboratory or clinical studies prior to putting the product on the shelf. In fact, the dietary supplement you are buying often bears the label of a marketing company who hired a pill presser to press its recipe into a pill or potion. Sometimes these supplements work and sometimes they don't, but have no harmful side effects. However, occasionally as in the case of ephedra, dietary supplements can have lethal side effects. Be sure to monitor everything you are ingesting, so that if you are experiencing unusual symptoms, you can present a complete history to your doctor.

If you or a loved one were injured through the use of a pharmaceutical product or dietary supplement please use the form below to contact our law firm.

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