You may be watching your favorite program and then during a commercial break, you see it:  Another announcement about a bad drug that was supposed to be helpful but only ended up causing harm. So, why is this happening? Aren’t drugs supposed to treat and cure diseases? Don’t drug companies and doctors care about the patients?

Understand Exactly What "Safe" Means To The FDA and Drug Companies

Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why drugs are released to the public and then later found to be dangerous. 

  • The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) cannot guarantee that any drug is completely safe. They use the information used from the drug company itself. They also deem a drug “safe” not harmless. The term of safe just means that the benefit should outweigh the risks.
  • Drug companies sometimes rush a drug through the approval process in order to get it on the market without studying the long-term effects or using a large enough sample study population.
  • Drug companies may aggressively market a new drug so doctors prescribe it without knowing the full extent of the negative side effects.

When drugs are found to be defective (where the risks outweigh the benefits), the drug has to go through an investigation process to determine if it should remain on the market.  During that process, doctors can continue to prescribe the medication.  So a drug that is the center of controversy may be in your medicine cabinet.  How, then, do you make sure that you are not a victim of prescription drug damage in Virginia?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Prescription Drugs

Ask these questions before taking a prescription drug:

  • What are the potential side effects listed?
  • How long has this drug been used?
  • Do the possible positives outweigh the possible negatives?
  • Why is this drug being prescribed over others that treat the same thing?
  • What do others have to say about the drugs’ effectiveness?
  • How long has your doctor been prescribing this medication? Have other patients commented on its success or failure?

Speak With an Experienced Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer For More Information

With so many prescriptions available today, there is no way to know which ones will affect you negatively.  Talk with your doctor about your concerns.  If you still end up taking a medication that causes unnecessary damage, seek the help of an attorney.  Speak with someone that has the knowledge to answer your questions about a possible case.  The Virginia medical malpractice lawyers at Shevlin Smith are available to assist you.  Call 703.591.0067 for a free consultation with one of our Fairfax attorneys.

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.
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