Los Angeles Attorneys for Injuries caused by Dangerous Drugs and Defective Medical Devices
The pharmaceutical and medical device industries reap hundreds of billions of dollars in profits every year. Many of these products are literally life-saving, and the profits the drug companies receive help them invest in research and technology for ever-better drugs and devices to improve our health. All we ask is that the products sold to us are safe and effective, and do not leave us worse off than we were before. Unfortunately, despite laws requiring that companies do just that, the American public is continually sold drugs and devices that have not been adequately tested for safety and may harm or even kill the unsuspecting patient. The personal injury attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy have decades of experience holding prescription drug makers and medical device manufacturers accountable for their errors in judgment, negligent mistakes, and outright deceptions in putting the public health and safety at risk.
The pharmaceutical industry makes billions every year by constantly pushing the latest blockbuster drug which may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per dose, but may in fact be no safer or more effective than a comparable drug which has been on the market for decades. These older drugs may have proven results and little side effects, but their cost to the consumer (and profit to the drug company) may only be a few dollars or pennies per pill, which does not bring in the huge windfalls for the drug companies that the latest blockbuster drug can.
In their rush to be the first to market with their latest medications, drug companies have been guilty of the following acts:
- Failing to perform adequate testing for safety and effectiveness
- Bypassing federal rules for safety testing
- Failing to disclose negative findings in safety studies
- Altering data in study findings
- Promoting their drugs for usages they were never tested or approved for
The FDA is in charge of monitoring the drug industry, but when manufacturers exploit loopholes to get around the system, or actively deceive the government regulators, there is little the FDA can do to prevent a dangerous drug from getting on the market before it has harmed many people. Also, in addition to the drugs manufactured in the U.S., nearly $100 billion in pharmaceuticals are imported each year from foreign countries, and the FDA is simply not equipped to effectively monitor all of these drugs, which may not be produced according to U.S. standards.
Defective Medical Devices
In addition to drugs, the FDA is tasked with regulating the safety of medical devices, from Class I devices like surgical gloves and bandages to Class III devices such as chest-implanted pacemakers or replacement heart valves, where a defect would likely cause serious negative consequences or even death. All medical devices must be approved by the FDA before they are used, and dangerous or defective devices are subject to recall by the FDA. Sadly, product makers have found many ways to skip the premarket approval process and avoid any testing at all, such as by misclassifying a product as a Class I device when it really isn’t, or falsely claiming their device is similar to another device which is already on the market and has previously been approved by the FDA.
While recalls of Class I devices have been declining in recent years, safety recalls for the potentially more dangerous Class III devices have been skyrocketing. Unfortunately, it may take months before the FDA gathers enough information to decide that a recall is necessary. Meanwhile, dozens or hundreds of people may have been permanently harmed by a defective medical device. Below are just a few of the defects the FDA uncovers on a regular basis:
- Implantable devices like shoulder pain pumps or IUDs, which erode and infect the tissue they are embedded in, or break into pieces and migrate through the body to lodge in life-threatening areas
- Metal-on-metal hip and knee replacements that grind against each other, releasing toxic metals into the bloodstream
- Scopes and surgical instruments which due to a faulty design cannot be sterilized effectively between uses, exposing a patient to serious and sometimes fatal antibiotic-resistant infections (superbugs)
- Solutions contaminated with viruses, bacteria, mold or particulate matter
- Monitors and drug-delivery systems with faulty software that report false results or deliver the wrong dosage of medication
Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy has experience in a wide variety of dangerous drug and defective medical device litigation, including the following among many others:
Drug makers should not be using the general public as guinea pigs to test the safety of their products, and they should not be heavily marketing their products to doctors and consumers for uses they were never tested or approved for. Drug companies and device manufacturers can be held strictly liable for harm caused by their unreasonably dangerous or defective products. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, skill and resources to take on the pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers and hold them accountable for their actions.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation in Dangerous Drug & Defective Medical Device Litigation
If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by a dangerous drug or defective medical device in southern California, contact Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy in Los Angeles for a free consultation on your potential claims, at 310-553-6630.