Several months ago, we discussed the famous prescription drug lawsuits surrounding Accutane, a once popular medication used to treat acne. Accutane gained national attention after several lawsuits claimed the drug increased the risk of suicide or caused users to suffer from other severe health issues.
However, Accutane is only one of many prescription drug lawsuits that have been filed over the years. Other lawsuits show that prescription drug side effects have caused irreparable psychological and physical damage to unsuspecting people.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson paid $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines over accusations that it marketed Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, to older adults and children despite known health risks. Federal prosecutors claimed Johnson & Johnson knew Risperdal could cause adverse side effects in adults and children, some of which could cause irreparable damage. For example, boys taking the drug were at increased risk of developing breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia. Some cases of gynecomastia caused by the drug were severe enough to require surgery.
For older adults, Risperdal can increase the risk of stroke. According other lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson, it downplayed or hid these dangers and continued marketing to groups who were at greater risk for severe side effects.
Prescription Drug Side Effects Can Ruin Lives
The Risperdal lawsuits show how dangerous side effects can ruin lives. People who took this drug as children have reported what it has been like living with the extremely damaging side effects.
A man from Albany, New York, who allegedly developed gynecomastia from Risperdal as a child, recently spoke to a local news station to discuss his experience. In an interview with WIVB, he described how he began taking the drug at 9 years old in 2002, but stopped in 2007 after gaining weight and developing breasts. The boy was horrendously bullied at school and claimed the effects of his traumatic childhood still haunt him today. In 2002 (the year he started taking the drug), the FDA had not approved Risperdal to be used by children.
When pharmaceutical companies hide damaging side effects or push drugs for off-label use, innocent people can have their lives ruined. People facing similar circumstances may be able to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions.
The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat can hold companies accountable when they release dangerous prescription medications.