Due to the advancements made in the field of Medicine, it is possible for doctors to treat illnesses with the use of medications or drugs. This is common knowledge. The business of manufacturing drugs is a very lucrative one, and drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical giants see it as such. Now, because of the urge to make more profit or to have an edge over a competitive rival in the same line of business, drug manufacturers tend to release new drugs a bit too hastily into the market so their drugs would be bought before their rivals think of manufacturing a similar drug.
Because of this, such drugs are not properly checked or tested for any defect. Hence, it is not certain if a drug, if consumed by a person, would do more harm than good to the person–if the drug would be the precursor for a dangerous ailment perhaps worse than that which the person is suffering from and which the drug was initially supposed to cure.
In a case where a person takes a drug that causes an ailment instead of treating the one for which the drug was bought and taken, medical product liability is said to have arisen.
What is a Medical Products Liability?
This is a situation where a drug that is meant to cure an ailment in the person who took it causes another ailment without curing the ailment for which it was bought and taken. This is a serious situation as the person can, in severe cases, die a result of this or acquire terminal diseases that may be incurable or curable (Peter C. Gøtzsche, 2014)
What are Medical Products Liability Claims?
These are legal cases between the drug manufacturing company or pharmaceutical company and the person(s) negatively affected by the drug(s) put into the market by the former. The drug manufacturing company involved in the medical products liability claims can lose its license and be forced to close down if found guilty as it would be viewed as carelessness on the side of the manufacturers in a bid to make more money.
Luckily for the person(s) involved, there are lawyers in the United States of America who would be most willing to help them win their cases against these drug manufacturing companies.
Consumers have the right to be properly informed about the drugs they are buying. Information, such as the side effects, should be correctly presented to them. Failure to do this is a violation on the side of the drug manufacturing company.
Medical liability laws ensure that people negatively affected by such drugs are duly given the justice they deserve and the drug manufacturing companies the punishment they deserve. A violation of the medical liability laws occurs when the affected person isn’t properly informed of the harmful side effects of the drug/s.
There are many medications under lawsuits in the U. S., the most popular of which is Zantac.
What is Zantac?
Zantac, also known as Ranitidine, is a drug that is used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux syndrome, peptic ulcer, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome. It is known to reduce the acidity of the stomach or the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Zantac, the trade name of Ranitidine, can be given in various ways: Orally or by mouth, intravenously, or with the use of an injection to the vein or a muscle.
Zantac was recently removed from U.S. markets because of medical product liability claims and here’s why. If you have concerns about Zantac product liability you can find more facts at Banville Law.
Why Zantac was removed
In September 2019, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) discovered that Zantac possessed a carcinogenic chemical, known as N-nitrosodimethlyamine (NDMA), in small quantities. It was seen later on that the carcinogenic chemical, which is capable of causing cancer, was responsible for intestinal cancer also known as colorectal cancer. Hence, a nationwide recall of the drug was made by pharmaceutical companies that produced them.
Zantac is primarily responsible for intestinal (colorectal) cancer in people (Gerald McGwin, 2020). Intestinal cancer or colorectal cancer is the name given to cancer that appears in the small intestine. This doesn’t mean that the large intestine is invincible to cancer. In fact, it can also be susceptible to carcinomas if exposed to them.
There are various symptoms that can give a person who recently took Zantac a hint that intestinal cancer may have developed in the small intestine. Such symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- General weakness or a sense of tiredness
- Vomiting and a feeling of nausea
- Dark-colored feces
If one experiences one or more of the symptoms listed above after taking Zantac, then there’s a chance that one may be suffering from intestinal cancer. They should reach out to a law firm that deals with medical product liability claim cases as it would be obvious that a pharmaceutical company, despite the recall by the FDA, is still engaging in the sale of Zantac drugs to the populace.
There are a plethora of known risk factors that can increase the chance of one contracting intestinal or colorectal cancer. Some of them are:
- Old age: The older one gets, the higher the chances of contracting intestinal cancer.
- Alcohol intake and smoking
- A medical history of gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, and so on.
- Consumption of diets high in fat content.
What else is there to know about Medical Products Liability Claims?
When you are a victim of a defective drug, your lawyer may ask you to pursue a medical products liability claim, which is, of course, the right thing to do. This is because someone, most probably the drug manufacturing company, is at fault for the ailment which the defective drug has caused you. But the question now is, on what ground would you sue the manufacturers?
There are three known grounds from which you can choose to sue the manufacturers. Your lawyer would be and should be conversant with them to give you proper guidance on the right ground to sue from. They are:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
Beginning with negligence, there are three types of negligence that you can hold the drug manufacturer(s) accountable for:
- Negligent failure to warn: Here, you can sue the drug manufacturer for not warning you of the side effect of the drug that you purchased and which you are now suffering from because of a lack of proper and correct information.
- Negligent design: Here, if the drug’s design fails to meet up to the accepted standard or is non-recognizable by the official organization that checks this, then you can sue the manufacturers on the particular ground.
- Negligence per se: This is when the drug fails to meet up to the standards set by the FDA.
Another ground for suing the drug manufacturing company or pharmaceutical company is based on strict liability.
Assuming your lawyer finds no ground on negligence to sue the drug manufacturing company, your lawyer may suggest the ground of strict liability. Strict liability simply says that though much care may be put into the production of a product, in this case, a drug, that product could still cause harm to certain people. To strengthen this claim, one can point out the fact that manufacturers protect themselves against any potential mishap that may come with a drug, but the consumers or buyers cannot. This protection could be in the form of insurance, which is something not all consumers do.
Another ground to sue the drug manufacturers is the ground of breach of warranty.
Breach of warranty
This is yet another ground that one can make a case against drug manufacturers. A warranty is basically an assurance from the manufacturer or seller that a certain product, in this case, a drug, would be able to last for a particular period of time before it expires.
Normally, drugs have the expiry dates written on their packs. But if the drugs expire before the stipulated date (and you can detect this via possible side effects), you can sue the drug manufacturing company on that ground.
There are drug manufacturing companies out there that are determined to make a profit no matter the costs. It is because of this type of company that medical product liability claims are made. As a customer and consumer, you need to know the rights you have and also know when and how to seek the justice you deserve if, unfortunately, you take a defective drug that causes some complications to your system, like intestinal cancer, especially if you take Zantac.
Gøtzsche P. C. (2014). Our prescription drugs kill us in large numbers. Polskie Archiwum Medycyny Wewnetrznej, 124(11), 628–634. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25355584/
McGwin G. (2020). The Association between Ranitidine Use and Gastrointestinal Cancers. Cancers, 13(1), 24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33374592/