Shoulder Surgery Pain Pump Anesthetic Manufacturers Part Of PAGCL Litigation

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Pharmaceutical manufacturers have been brought into shoulder pain pump litigation along with medical device companies. Product liability attorneys say that pharmaceutical manufactures such as APP Pharmaceuticals; Abbott Labs; AstraZeneca; Watson Pharmaceuticals; Abraxix BioScience; Hospira, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson knew that their drugs were being used in the pumps that have caused hundreds of patients to contract PAGCL. But, can they be liable under the law?

Pharmaceutical company liability

Pharmaceutical companies can also be liable under the law, according to Rhett Klok, a South Carolina attorney for over 15 years whose practice focuses in medical health litigation including medical devices, pharmaceuticals and medical malpractice. He told us:

The reason for that is that they have specialized knowledge and if they become aware of the application in which their products were being used, which they did, and their products have adverse impact or potential adverse on the public health, then they shoulder the same responsibility as the manufacturer for any harm they may cause to people. The defendant pharmaceutical manufacturers that have been identified so far are APP Pharmaceuticals; Abbott Labs; AstraZeneca; Watson Pharmaceuticals; Abraxix BioScience; Hospira, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. Those are the companies that we know of at this point that provided anesthetics for those products.

Klok says that there also may be liability for the distributor companies who helped distribute and market the devices – and some bear the same names as the manufacturers – B. Braun Medical, DJO and Pacific Medical.

Studies link devices and drugs to injuries

There was a study in the Journal of American Physicians in July 2008 that basically looked at the effects of local anesthetic administered for at least 48 hours via pain pumps, according to Klok, who said that what it found, or what it recommended, was that one should be aware of using any or some of these reactive anesthetics 48 hours after surgery. He explained:

The study indicated that it seems as if the cartilage of the shoulder area is more susceptible to damage from these various drugs than, for instance, the cartilage of the knee. That doesn’t mean that we’re not interested in looking at cases where pain pumps were inserted in this ball and socket space between the knee or the hip, but the study seems to suggest that the shoulder space may be more reactive.

Blatant disregard for consumer safety

Klok says that in litigation, his question always becomes, “Why did you guys, the manufacturers, fail to test these questions out before you subjected the public to the danger of them?” He says that was precisely what the FDA told them when it said, “We’re not going to approve the labeling or the marketing of this product for this use until you can establish that it’s safe for use.” He told us:

Unfortunately, the defendant manufacturers went ahead and marketed it anyway and now the clients that are calling in are suffering from the very problem that the FDA sought to prevent by having these companies prove that they weren’t hurting people in the application. So, once again, the companies engaged in off-label use and should be held liable for doing so.

If you believe you might have a shoulder pain pump lawsuit, contact an experienced shoulder pain pump attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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