If you have watched your television lately, you have undoubtedly seen one of the many advertisements broadcast to notify the public of the many lawsuits that have been filed across the nation due to the harmful or deadly side effects related to a prescription or over the counter medication. While some members of the viewing audience may consider the ads dubious ploys to drum up business and profits for a pharmaceutical lawyer, the very opposite of that is true. Yes, the attorney does stand to earn a paycheck for representing the victims of pharmaceutical side effects. But the job is, by far, more complex than broadcasting cattle calls for lawsuits.
If you are not a victim – or a loved one of a victim – who has been injured by one of the medications announced in the commercials, you may not fully understand the importance of the attorney’s role in bringing justice and rightful compensation to those who have suffered permanent impairments or other harmful side effects related to the injurious pharmaceutical products.
The advertisements that you see, which are provided and paid for by the attorneys, act very much the same as public service announcements. And they let people know, if they have not already been advised, that they may be taking or using a pharmaceutical product that can produce dangerous side effects. Additionally, they let the consumers and patients who have used the medications know that they are not alone, and that the side effects that they have been experiencing are not merely manifestations of hypochondrias.
The issues related to some of the medications brought into question by the FDA have to do with transparency. By law, every medication released into the pharmaceutical market must be rigorously tested and re-tested in order to provide the prescribing physicians and their patients with the full range of potential side effects and/or potential dangers that may be associated with the use of the drug in question. In instances such as those related to GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia and Accutane, the legal arguments related to these lawsuits stem from transparency – or the deliberate lack thereof. Indications from the laboratory testing conducted on both of these medications provided a glimpse into the potential harmful and deadly side effects that they could produce. Nonetheless, the information was not released by the drug makers at the time the medications were released to consumers.
A pharmaceutical lawyer holds drug companies accountable for the damages that they have inflicted upon unsuspecting patients and consumers who have suffered unduly due to the use of their products. And, while the pecuniary remedies that they seek cannot undo the damages that have been done, their efforts can help ease the suffering of their clients.