Drug manufacturers cannot release dangerous drugs on the market without facing consequences. In most situations, drug makers are sued by victims who are harmed by defective drugs. The goal of the victims is to recover compensation for damages and a dangerous drug attorney can provide assistance in pursuing a claim.
In some situations, however, individual lawsuits and mass tort actions are not the only legal troubles that a drug company can face. States and the federal government may also pursue claims and seek to recover compensation from drug companies that put people at risk.
Drug Manufacturer Sued by State
One example of this type of legal action has occurred recently in the state of Louisiana. The Attorney General's Office has filed a claim against Fresenius Medical Care, which is a company that makes dialysis drugs. The Attorney General has sued on behalf of Louisiana because the drug company allegedly violated state law in an "effort to defraud dialysis clinics, physicians, the state and its residents."
According to The Advocate, if the Attorney General prevails, Louisiana is entitled to receive $5,000 per violation of Louisiana's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The lawsuit also aims to force Fresenius to repay profits that it made on the sale of its dialysis drug GranuFlo.
Fresenius is one of the world's largest providers of dialysis medications and also runs clinics throughout the U.S. including in Louisiana. Evidence indicates that the company may have known as far back as 2004 that its GranuFlo and NaturaLyte products could cause serious complications by elevating the bicarbonate level of dialysis patients to dangerous levels. Elevated bicarbonate levels significantly increase the risk that a patient will suffer a heart attack.
Louisiana claims that Fresenius was aware of the risks and that it should have taken action to alert the public that special instructions were necessary when using GranuFlo. However, it was not until March of 2012 that information about the dangers was provided to the medical community. In March of 2012, the Food and Drug Administration instituted a Class I recall, which is the most serious type of recall that is reserved for situations where a product could cause an unreasonable risk of serious health problems or death.
The lawsuit against Fresenius alleges that the company took steps to conceal the risk of its products both from the FDA and from the public. Unfortunately, this action had consequences. A study conducted in 2010 revealed that 941 dialysis patients at 667 clinics run by Fresenius suffered cardiac arrest during treatment. GranuFlo and NaturaLyte products were used not only at clinics run by Fresenius but also by other dialysis clinics nationwide.
There have already been mass tort cases and individual claims filed by affected patients and their family members. This state lawsuit is just one more step in the process of holding the drug manufacturer fully accountable for failure to protect consumers and follow basic safety guidelines.
If you have been harmed by a defective drug, contact DeCarlo Law today at 877-572-0065 or visit http://www.decarlolaw.com/ to schedule a consultation.