When drug manufacturers misrepresent the risks, adverse effects and benefits of medications, they can be held liable for the damages that result. Inadequate information and downright misleading claims about the effects of medications are nothing new.
In some cases, companies inflate the positive effects and benefits of their drugs for the purpose of increasing profits. In others, they fail to adequately disclose the risks and possible adverse effects that their medications can cause. With either scenario, when companies are in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act victims can be financially compensated for the damages that result.
In many situations, the damages that result from medication misrepresentation are severe- especially when accurate information about possible adverse effects is not disclosed. Victims often suffer serious consequences including worsening of medical conditions, developing new medical conditions, permanent disability and even death. In fact, it is believed that this type of outrageous misrepresentation has been a major factor in the opioid addiction epidemic that currently plagues the United States and results in substance abuse and deadly overdoses every year.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, medication overdose deaths continue to rise every year. And the American Society of Addiction Medicine claims that there are more than 50,000 deadly medication overdoses annually- which would make drug overdoses the leading cause of accidental death in the nation. An increasing number of people continue to fall victim to the adverse effects and addictive properties of opioids, and communities continue to be flooded with these drugs. It is reported, however, that there are actually no scientific studies that show that opioids are effective tools for long-term pain management, yet they are marketed as such.
Avoiding Becoming a Victim of Medication Misrepresentation
Despite the FDA’s efforts to crack down on misleading medication marketing campaigns, drug misrepresentation continues to target innocent victims. These distracting, inaccurate and even deceptive ads make it nearly impossible for the average consumer to make an informed decision. To avoid falling victim to false or incomplete medication ads, consumers should:
- Be wary of the most heavily marketed drug ads and take glowing patient testimonials with a grain of salt.
- Investigate new medications thoroughly and check out hard facts about clinical trials, possible risks, and FDA labels and warnings.
- Check labels and warnings for name brand drugs when selecting generic medications. Federal law requires generic and name brand labeling to be identical.