When Dangerous Drugs Lead to Deaths

Many legally prescribed or obtainable drugs are extremely dangerous and are linked to dangerous side effects and deaths.

In some of these cases, people who lose a loved one may have recourse to sue the manufacturer or another party like a marketer.

However, the fact a drug was linked to a death does not give a family member an automatic recourse to sue over the loss of a loved one to a drug.

Alcohol and tobacco cause more deaths than other legally obtainable substances but people who take them are aware of the risks.

Opioids are another class of drug linked to thousands of deaths. However, in many cases, these drugs are being improperly used or those who lost their lives took an overdose.

The drugs include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, codeine, and others, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

However, there are many drugs that have unexpected side-effects that are not well advertised.

Some of these drugs led to mass tort actions against drug manufacturers. A case in point is Actos, a medication that is intended to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Studies later linked Actos to bladder cancer. This side effect was not initially advertised. In 2011, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Georgia consolidated all federal Actos bladder cancer lawsuits to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Three years ago, Takeda, the drug’s manufacturer, settled about 5,000 federal Actos bladder cancer lawsuits and thousands more state cases for $2.37 billion.

Viagra is another drug that is linked to deadly side-effects. A study in 2014 found the popular erectile dysfunction drug also known as (sildenafil) nearly doubles men’s risk of the deadly skin cancer melanoma. There was no warning about this life-threatening side effect on the box.

At present, the blood thinner Xarelto is the subject of thousands of lawsuit against its manufacturers.

Xarelto is an anticoagulant (blood thinner). The drug is produced by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s New Jersey-based unit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Xarelto is widely prescribed to prevent blood clots in patients suffering from conditions including atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. The drug is heavily promoted in TV ads.

While Xarelto is touted as an alternative to Warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner that has been used since the mid-1950s, it has been linked to uncontrolled internal bleeding and death. Unlike Warfarin, there is no antidote to the drug. About 4,500 lawsuits are being considered by the courts.

If you have lost a loved one because of a dangerous drug, please call our product liability team at (757- 455-0077)

John Cooper

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