The pharmaceutical industry is an extraordinarily big business, involving billions of dollars in sales. Unfortunately, whenever that kind of money is involved, safety can be lost in the shuffle.
Companies push to get drugs on the market as quickly as possible, in order to maximize their profits, and sometimes fail to perform sufficient testing or provide sufficient warnings about the dangers that these drugs present.
FDA oversight provides, at best, only limited protection for the public, and in the case of some over-the-counter medications, FDA oversight may be nonexistent.
We have a long history of representing people who have been seriously harmed by dangerous drugs. These cases require an in-depth knowledge of the medical issues involved with the particular drug, as well as the manner in which drugs are tested and approved by the FDA.
Currently, we are representing many people who have lost their sense of smell as a result of taking the over-the-counter cold remedy Zicam Nasal Gel. The manufacturer of Zicam ignored medical literature showing that zinc (the active ingredient in Zicam) causes destruction of the smell receptors in the nose. They also ignored hundreds of complaints by their own customers about their sudden smell loss after taking Zicam.
For ten years they sold this dangerous product to the public, knowing the risk to which they were subjecting people. Finally, in June 2009, the FDA took action, which resulted in the Zicam Nasal Gel being taken off the market.
We are also currently representing people who have contracted a horrific disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis as a result of being injected with an MRI contrast agent.
NSF is a debilitating condition which leads to fibrosis (scarring) of body tissues, thickening and tightness of the skin, contractures and similar problems. It typically causes patients to become wheelchair-bound and is often fatal.
Prior to performing an MRI, radiologists often inject the patient with a drug (the contrast agent) containing gadolinium (a metal) because it helps provide a clearer picture of body organs and tissues.
Gadolinium is not normally found in the human body and is toxic. Therefore, it is critical that the contrast agent containing gadolinium be excreted by the body as soon as possible after injection.
Unfortunately, with people who have kidney disease, the contrast agent stays in the body for long periods of time, and the toxic gadolinium is sometimes released. This leads to NSF.
Some of the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents failed to properly “encase” the gadolinium in a stable chemical structure. They also failed to properly warn radiologists of the risks associated with using these drugs with people who have kidney disease.