Drugs and Devices

Every year, scores of drugs and medical devices are subject to safety warnings, and even recalls. Unfortunately, some medications are on the market for years before all of their adverse effects become apparent. And shockingly, certain classes of medical devices aren’t even required to undergo human clinical testing in order to be approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Dangerous Drugs

Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars every year marketing prescription drugs to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, mental illness and other disorders. In fact, Americans spent $325.8 billion on prescription medications in 2012 alone. Every year, unfortunately, a certain number of patients will suffer from side effects and complications caused by the very medication that was supposed to treat their condition. Some drugs that have recently been the subject of safety concerns include:

Defective Medical Devices

Medical device makers reap about $100 billion dollars every year by marketing everything from artificial hips to transvaginal mesh used to treat gynecological conditions. Many Americans, however, would be surprised by how little testing many medical devices undergo before they are implanted in patients. The FDA allows certain products to be cleared under the 510(k) program, which permits a device to be approved without the benefit of human clinical trials if it is “substantially equivalent” in design to a product that has already been cleared for sale by the FDA. Critics of this program claim that it has allowed dozens of unproven medical devices to come to market, resulting in harm to tens of thousands of patients. Some medical devices that have recently been the subject of safety concerns include:

Consumer Products

Every year, millions of people purchase consumer products in good faith, never suspecting that an item obtained from a reputable retailer or manufacturer could cause harm. Yet according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 38,500 people sought medical attention in 2010 for injuries related to a consumer product. An estimated 35,900 deaths involving consumer products were recorded in 2008. Many of these incidents were caused by defects in the design or manufacture of a product. In other cases, manufacturers failed to provide the public with the types of warnings and instructions that could have prevented serious injuries.

Some consumer products that have recently prompted safety concerns include:

Last Modified: March 11, 2020

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