Paxil Injury Major Issues Drug Toxic Chemicals
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What are the major legal issues involved in a case when someone has been injured by Paxil?
Your case, whether a wrongful death or a personal injury case, will most likely be brought under the theory of product liability – in other words, the manufacturer of the drug put the drug on the market and kept the drug on the market even though it was unreasonably dangerous. GlaxoSmithKline was aware of the serious side effects associated with withdrawal from Paxil; however, they chose to downplay those side effects until the FDA forced them to increase the label warnings in 2001. Furthermore, Paxil was never approved for use in children; nonetheless, GlaxoSmithKline promoted using Paxil for treating depression in children to the doctors who were prescribing it. It now appears that not only does Paxil not have any noticeable effect on depression in children; it increases any suicidal tendencies that the child may have. Whether GlaxoSmithKline realized that the drug acted this way on children or was careless in suggesting that Paxil could be successfully used in children, the fact remains that the company promoted the drug’s use by children knowing full well that this use had not received FDA approval.
Another issue that you and your attorney will deal with is who can be sued. It appears that GlaxoSmithKline was well aware of the difficulty of withdrawing from Paxil while continuing to market the drug as non-habit forming. Furthermore, GlaxoSmithKline knew that the drug had not been approved for use in children and that there appeared to be an increase in suicidal and homicidal tendencies in both children and adults. These problems were not adequately covered by warnings for many years, and GlaxoSmithKline actually marketed the drug in defiance of these issues. Therefore, the primary party to your lawsuit will probably be GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil.
Another possible party to a lawsuit may be the doctor who prescribed the Paxil. Even if Paxil was being promoted as an antidepressant to be used by children, the FDA had not approved this use, a fact of which doctors should have been aware. If your doctor prescribed your use of Paxil after 2001 and did not adequately warn you about the problems with withdrawal symptoms, you may also have a claim against him or her. In 2001, the FDA required the manufacturer of Paxil to increase the label warnings about withdrawal symptoms, thereby putting your doctor on notice that there might be problems if you needed to stop using the drug.
Other possible plaintiffs may include the pharmaceutical sales representatives who worked with your clinic or the pharmacist who filled the prescription. To sustain a claim against the sales rep, you would need to show that the sales rep either shielded doctors from information about Paxil or provided some type of incentive that was sufficient to persuade doctors to prescribe Paxil in cases where they should not have done so (such as prescribing it for children). This information would probably be available from your doctor or clinic, but it is highly unlikely they would share this information with you. A case may be brought against the pharmacist if he or she did not properly warn you of the side effects of taking or withdrawing from the drug; however, the pharmacist’s defense is going to be that it was the duty of the doctor to determine whether it was appropriate to prescribe the drug in the first place. Therefore, these are not the strongest parties to go after in a lawsuit.
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