Every year, drug companies sell numerous prescription drugs to consumers. Some of these are over-the-counter; some are available by prescription only. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires all these drugs proven safe. If they carry risks of side effects, the FDA mandates drug companies place clear warning labels on their products, and it ensures doctors are aware of them. Doctors then fulfill their obligations to their patients by informing them of those risks. Thankfully, most of the time these drugs work as expected. Sometimes they do not, and patients should be aware that not all drugs are as rigorously tested as they should be. In other instances, the side effects appear after extended use. Consequently, it is not unusual for a medication to injure a user through no fault of his or her own.
After an injury caused by a defective drug, people ask “What’s next?” Fortunately, the civil justice system allows patients to file defective drug lawsuits against drug companies. When doing so, patients must demonstrate to the court that one of the following three events occurred:
- The drug was improperly manufactured;
- The drug caused an unreasonably dangerous or serious side effect; or
- The patient was inadequately warned by his or her doctor, pharmacist, or the drug’s manufacturer of the drug’s dangerousness.
Applied to Fosamax (to say nothing of other drugs), we rarely find the first and third to be the case. Most of the time, the drug carried an unreasonably dangerous or serious side effect. This leaves the plaintiff in a Fosamax femur fracture lawsuit to prove three things: an injury; that the drug was defective; and causation—that taking the drug caused the injury, and the drug was used as intended.
While it is important for you to consult with a Fosamax femur fracture lawyer if you’ve taken the drug, we need to be clear about circumstances when plaintiffs may not have a Fosamax case. A person who has taken Fosamax and produces no evidence of any injury whatsoever cannot sue Merck and expect to win. Also, a Fosamax user whose injury is incomparable to the kinds that Fosamax causes may win but receive fewer damages. For instance, if a user receives a high-impact femur fracture rather than a low-energy femur fracture, the court may not find Merck as responsible. A patient who does not use Fosamax as prescribed but is injured may not receive the amount of compensation had he or she used the drug properly.
Nevertheless, we emphasize the importance of Fosamax users to both talk with their physicians about continuing to use the drug and to consult with a Fosamax femur fracture lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group. Contact us for a free, confidential legal consultation by clicking here.