Prescription drug errors in America happen far too often senselessly hurting and even killing trusting consumers. Tragedy is realized by pharmacist error in filling prescriptions with the wrong pills, doctors erroneously prescribing the wrong medications or harmful side effects from the medication itself. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the governing body tasked with regulating the pharmaceutical industry’s production of new medications, keeping tabs on harmful side effects of drugs that have been approved and the recall of drugs found to be harmful like Accutane.
According to the FDA, a drug is removed from the market when its risks outweigh its benefits. A drug is usually taken off the market because of safety issues with the drug that cannot be corrected, such as when it is discovered that the drug can cause serious side effects that were not known at the time of approval.
Up until now, the FDA has not provided the general public with easy access to information on harmful drugs that it has pulled from the US market. However, the FDA announced a new step toward transparency in June by launching a “new initiative designed to make it easier for researchers and the public to access large, important public health databases collected by the agency.” This information will all be available at a new website titled openFDA.
This initiative by the FDA could be very helpful to medical malpractice plaintiffs in that it will now be much easier to find information about complaints on harmful drugs in an effort to tabulate how many people in America have been adversely affected by a bad drug and how long a drug manufacturer has been aware that their drug has been causing harm.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported in June that this new open source platform will “allow the public to browse 3.6 million reports about drug side effects from 2004 to 2013 submitted by patients, doctors, and pharma companies from around the world — sometimes online, sometimes by fax, or even in paper forms delivered by mail.” Taha Kass-Hout, the FDA’s chief health informatics officer, stated in the article the data on drug side effects has long been public but difficult to use, “..imagine the Internet right now without a search engine.”
If you have been injured by a bad drug, a pharmacist who filled the wrong medication or a medical doctor erroneously prescribing the wrong medication you should seek the services of a competent, experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Contact the attorney Michael Pence and schedule a free consultation.