Millions of Americans turn to prescription drugs and vaccines like Zostavax each year to help improve their health, relieve symptoms, and prevent illness. If you are one of them, you anticipate that the treatments available to you are tested and proven safe for use. Unfortunately, some pharmaceuticals are discovered to be unsafe after spending years on the market and placing thousands of patients at risk. Dangerous drugs and vaccines could cause serious, debilitating, or even life-threatening side effects.
Zostavax, a vaccine designed to prevent shingles, is one of these dangerous medicines. If you were a Zostavax patient and experienced serious complications, a mass torts attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for the injuries this product caused. A Clarksburg Zostavax lawyer could hold the manufacturer accountable for placing Zostavax on the market without completing proper testing and ensuring the safety of patients.
What is Zostavax?
Shingles comes from the chickenpox virus, and for some patients, it is extremely painful and debilitating. To help prevent shingles (herpes zoster), patients over the age of 50 often receive the Zostavax vaccine, which contains a weakened live chickenpox virus. Receiving a small amount of the live virus activates the bodies immune response to fight off the virus in the future, which in turn prevents shingles.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zostavax in 2006. Since then, it has been marketed by Merck & Co. as safe and effective. Merck received large profits from Zostavax, as it was the only vaccine of its kind until 2017.
The Potential Dangers of Zostavax
Patients who received the Zostavax vaccine have report several serious side effects. Among others like headaches and fever, these side effects include:
- Brain injuries
- Liver damage
- Hearing loss
- Shingle-like symptoms
- Development of shingles or chickenpox
These side effects can lead to several damages for patients who suffer them. Victims may be burdened with additional medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
Is Merck Liable for Damages?
A Clarksburg Zostavax attorney could help patients injured by Zostavax recoup their losses. As the manufacturer, Merck is required by CFR 201.56 and 201.57 to place warning labels and precautions on their products. Merck did not provide the proper information and warnings to healthcare professionals or their patients, even though it is their duty to do so.
When Merck breached this duty, patients who may have otherwise elected not to receive the Zostavax vaccine suffered harm, which led to damages that are both physical and financial. Because Merck breached its duty of care, a judge or a jury could find the company liable for the damages suffered by Zostavax patients.
Additionally, there are several claims that even though Merck knew Zostavax only prevented shingles in about 50 percent of the patients who received it, they continued to market it as a safe and effective method of preventing shingles. By speaking with a Zostavax lawyer in Clarksburg, patients could determine if their case has merit and hold Merck accountable for their losses.
Seek Representation by an Experienced Clarskburg Zostavax Attorney
With so many lawsuits filed against Merck for Zostavax, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all Zostavax lawsuits be consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) on August 2, 2018. If you received this vaccine and suffered injuries, a Clarksburg Zostavax lawyer could help you recover your damages in this MDL. Call a dedicated attorney today to discuss your case.