Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from the Lawyers at Brown & Crouppen
1. What is the difference between a generic drug and a brand name medication?
A pharmaceutical drug (medication) is usually given two names: a generic and a brand name. The generic name is the drug’s chemical name. The brand name is what the manufacturer decides to call their product.
When a drug patent expires, other companies may produce a generic version of the brand name drug. A generic medication, also approved by the FDA, is basically a copy of the brand name drug and is marketed under its chemical name. A generic drug may look different than its brand name counterpart, but it must have the same active ingredients, strength, and dosage form (i.e., pill, liquid, or injection), and provide the same effectiveness and safety as its brand name counterpart.
In June 2011, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in a lawsuit brought by someone injured using a generic drug. The opinion makes it very difficult to obtain compensation for injuries suffered in the case that a generic equivalent of a brand-name drug is used. Read more about this decision in this article.
2. Are generic drugs likely to cause more side effects than brand name drugs?
It depends. The chemical makeup of a generic drug must have the same active ingredients as the brand name version of the pharmaceutical product. However, the delivery systems can vary, resulting in unexpected side-effects. For example, there have been widespread complaints about a generic form of Wellbutrin .
3. Once the FDA approves a drug, does this mean that the product is perfectly safe?
No drug product is “perfectly” safe. Every single drug that affects the body will have some side effects. Unfortunately, serious injuries or death can result from:
- Limited medication testing
- Improperly labeled medications
- Misguided / False drug advertising
- Improperly filled prescriptions
Further, the FDA has been accused by government oversight agencies failing in its duty to ensure drug safety. Accusations include conflicts of interest , poor organization in safety monitoring and underfunding .
4. What is a ‘Warning Letter’?
A warning letter is a key enforcement tool used by the FDA, notifying firms of violations, requiring a written response and warning that failure to correct violations can lead to additional enforcement actions. Warning letters from the FDA can be found on the FDA website .
5. What should I do if I have a drug product that has been recalled?
If you have a recalled medical product, talk to your health professional about the best course of action. Do NOT stop taking any medication without consulting with a medical professional first. There are often alternative medications that may not have the same side effects as the medication you were prescribed. Your doctor will be able to advise you of your options.
Consult with your medical professional to address your healthcare concerns, but contact with an experienced pharmaceutical lawyer at Brown & Crouppen to advise you of your legal rights.
6. What about drugs purchased over the Internet?
The FDA reports that the sale of unapproved drugs and the illegal sale of approved drugs over the Internet poses a serious public health risk . Consumers run the risk of purchasing inappropriate drugs or unknowingly purchasing counterfeit or sub-potent drugs.
7. What legal rights does an injured patient have?
Unfortunately, it has become a common occurrence for prescription drugs to be withdrawn or recalled due to serious side effects. Most medication recalls occur only after numerous patients have been injured, and families tragically effected.
If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a dangerous prescription drug, you have the right to hold the manufacturer responsible. Seek a consultation with an experienced attorney at Brown & Crouppen. Call us toll-free at 877-895-9191 for your free legal consultation or save time with our online contact form.
Contact the Attorneys of Brown & Crouppen
Call us toll free at 877-895-9191. Or contact us online. Either way, the consultation is free. An experienced lawyer from Brown & Crouppen will promptly contact you and give you the help you need.