Contaminated Medical Products and Supplements
I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes a caller who asks “my brother received pain medicine injections in his spine that were mixed by a company that did not comply with FDA guidelines and the meds were contaminated, he is now very ill, is there anything he could have done to avoid the predicament he is now facing?”
This is a timely question and applies to prescribed medications as well as over the counter supplements, both of which can be contaminated.
We have represented individuals in the past who have been the recipients of contaminated injections manufactured by a compounding company that was not keeping up with hygiene and proper safety precautions. Also, we have had people get sick after taking less than pure natural remedy supplements.
Injecting or consuming a contaminated substance is horrific. Keep in mind that the caller’s brother simply went to a doctor to get help with a pre-existing condition, only to be injected with medications that are contaminated.
Common factors we discovered in such cases are helpful to know.
A first point is that certain types of organizations are regulated by the FDA (short for Food and Drug Administration) and other types of manufacturers may not be regulated, or are only state regulated.
Big pharmaceutical companies are definitely regulated by the FDA, but little pharmacists who take individually approved drug components and mix them together and sell them as a liquid for injection or for putting into an IV, may well be exempt from FDA regulation.
So, if you or your family members are at a doctor’s office and are going to receive an injection or medication, ask the doctor to document for you that the proposed injection comes from a reputable company regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
If your doctor is going to give you an injection ask, Doctor, where is this product coming from? It is my right as a patient to know where this medication was made and I want to be sure this is coming from a reputable company regulated by the FDA.
Second, make sure the doctor is not financially gaining by selling the product to you. In some contamination cases we find that the doctor giving injections mixed at a fly by night unregulated facility were financially profiting by selling the product. This is not ethical. But we know people sometimes do unethical things. We a currently handling a case where a surgeon was given gifts of trips to vacation spas to encourage use of a particular brand of prosthetic. The surgeon liked the gifts, and started doing unnecessary surgeries to earn the rewards. This sounds bad, but 95% of doctors would never do such a thing. Still, asking questions, in a polite way, and be fully informed.
Like anything, there are discount suppliers out there that market drug related products that do not comply with safety regulations. Some are in the USA, and some come from foreign nations. And, it is not just prescribed medicine, as we noted, over the counter supplements can be contaminated too. So be very careful.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.