It takes years of research and big funding before a pharmaceutical company finally comes up with a particular drug or product that will serve as a safe and effective treatment to a certain health condition. And before such drug or product becomes available in the market the US Food and Drug Administration will need convincing results, proven through a series of tests funded by the pharmaceutical company itself, that it will provide safe and effective treatment.
Though it is impative that medical products are efficient, their safety is of greater priority. This is why pharmaceutical companies can be held legally liable and mandated by courts to compensate those harmed by any medicine or pharmaceutical item that they produce which are proven unsafe and the cause of severe medical conditions or death in some patients, instead of providing cure.
Over the past years a number of health products from giant pharmaceuticals have been linked to the development of either severe or life-threatening complications in patients. Two of these are AlloDerm, a surgical mesh, and testosterone supplements intended to enhance the production of male hormones.
AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix, more commonly known as AlloDerm, was introduced in 1994. It was approved by the FDA as an alternative to the traditional skin grafting method (a surgical procedure for skin transplantation), which required skin coming from the very patient having the transplant. AlloDerm uses rigorously processed cadaveric skin instead, all the cells of which are removed, reducing the skin to a basement membrane.
Since it became available in the market, AlloDerm has been used in many different applications, including treatment of skin injury and damage due to surgeries, radiation or burn, facial reconstruction, abdominal wall or abdominal hernia repair (hernia is a condition wherein an internal organ pushes through a weak tissue or muscle and causes swelling under the skin) and, its more recent use, breast reconstruction after mastectomy or complete breast removal.
Despite its remarkable versatility, complaints, like mesh tear or perforation, infection, or abscess, were made by patients who had AlloDerm implanted in their bodies. Abscess, particularly, is probably the most dangerous complication resulting from the use AlloDerm, especially if it develops inside the patient’s body (which is hard to detect and treat) who has had a hernia-repair surgery. An abscess can cause extreme pain and, if not given timely treatment, can cause fever, chills, nausea, fatigue and even death.
Testosterone supplement, which was approved by the FDA as an enhancement for the production of testosterone, was intended for men suffering from Hypogonadism, also known as low testosterone or low T. Testosterone, specifically, is the male sex hormone responsible for sperm production, regulation of sex drive, growth of male hair, development of muscle size and strength, red blood cell production, and so forth. The drug supplement, however, has been linked to cases of strokes, heart attacks and deaths in males who take it.
Whether it’s AlloDerm or testosterone supplement, so long as there is harm to the individual taking it, then he/she is encouraged to report his/her case and file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer. By January 2013, more than 300 lawsuits had already been filed (in New Jersey alone) against LifeCell Corporation, the manufacturer of AlloDerm. Millions of individuals have had AlloDerm transplant in the past; millions of men had received prescriptions for testosterone too.
Fighting a legal battle against the drugs’ manufacturers is not easy, however. Depending on the product used or taken, victims should seek the help of experienced and competent AlloDerm lawyers or testosterone supplements lawyers, both of whom can effectively address victims’ individual cases and fight for their rights to help them get the full compensation that they legally deserve.