Chicago Dangerous Drugs Litigation Attorney
Large pharmaceutical companies have tremendous resources and often a global reach. When their products cause injuries, illness, or death, it can have a devastating impact that ripples through the world economy. Claims for injuries involving prescription drugs are called defective products claims. These are similar to other product liability claims, but there are some unique characteristics.
These claims are based on marketing of defectively manufactured drugs, drugs with dangerous side effects, and improperly marketed drugs. Even when drug makers’ manufacturing processes are not defective, they may still be liable for injuries or deaths caused by their products.
Defendants in these cases may include more than the manufacturer. Drug testing labs, pharmaceutical company sales representatives, doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals are all part of the drug distribution chain. Each one is liable in its own way, which means consulting with an attorney is the best choice for those considering a product liability claim.
Recent Dangerous Drug Case in Chicagoland
Recently, Chicago-area physician, Dr. Michael J. Reinstein, plead guilty to criminal charges in a $600,000 kickback case involving an anti-psychotic medication. It was reported that he received payment for speaking engagements to promote the drug, entertainment expenses like trips to Miami, and funding for a research facility tied to his practice. Reinstein faces up to a year and a half in prison.
It is unclear whether or not Reinstein will be liable for damages to the families and patients sickened or killed by his over-prescribing the anti-psychotic clozapine. However, in a parallel civil lawsuit settlement Reinstein agreed to pay the United States and the State of Illinois $3.79 million.
Between 2003 and 2011, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and IVAX Pharmaceuticals LLC paid Reinstein to prescribe generic clozapine to his patients at the nursing homes and other facilities where he worked. According to an independent investigation by ProPublica, court records and autopsies showed that a minimum of three patients under Reinstein’s care died of clozapine intoxication.
Clozapine is rarely prescribed due to its potential for serious side effects. Physicians consider it a drug of last resort when treating schizophrenia. Most doctors would never prescribe this drug to senior citizens. Clozapine may cause seizures, heart muscle inflammation, and increased mortality in elderly patients, among other associated side effects.
In March 2014, Teva paid the federal and Illinois governments $27.6 million to settle alleged violations of the state and federal False Claims Act. Their payments to Reinstein in return for his prescribing clozapine constituted a potential violation of this statute. This case is an example of the federal government’s ongoing campaign to stop Medicaid and Medicare fraud.
Cases such as this one demonstrate how complicated it is to determine civil liability for cases involving drug manufacturers. Patients do not have the same resources as the US Department of Justice or the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Product liability law is meant to put pharmaceutical manufacturers on a level field with their patients who may have been sickened or killed by their negligence or illegal activity.
Chicago Dangerous Drug Lawyer | EKH Law
Those who are victimized by unethical doctors and drug manufacturers are often the most vulnerable. Dangerous drugs can cause fatalities and life-altering illnesses, which can wreak financial ruin on patients. Never settle for less than the best legal counsel possible.
The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander act swiftly to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to when injured by dangerous drugs. We provide personal injury representation to victims in Cook County, DuPage County, and the entire Chicagoland area. We have recovered compensation in a wide variety of cases. Contact us for a free consultation today!