When a patient’s injury or death is caused by a drug or medical device, it’s important to ask whether the manufacturer reported similar instances of like-harm to the FDA. If a doctor was notified of these similar events, it may have changed the doctor’s decision to use the product in the first place, in which case the patient’s life may have ultimately been spared.
Reporting duties are found in Federal Law via the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Drug and medical device companies must report what are called Adverse Events to the FDA. When they don’t, they face reprimand (like Olympus Medical Systems). Adverse Events are defined by the FDA as an undesirable experience associated with the use of a medical product in a patient. The event is serious and should be reported to the FDA when the patient outcome is:
- Required intervention (product must be removed)
- Life-threatening harm
- Permanent Damage
- Birth Defect
If a manufacturer gets notice of negative experiences like these, it must report them to the FDA. The incident is then made public on the FDA’s Adverse Event Database known as MAUDE.
Using the MAUDE, competitor companies can point out to doctors and hospitals certain Adverse Events that may affect their patients. Respected medical journals may even cite to this public database to investigate troubling trends. The FDA itself may investigate incidents once it’s known there are similar ones or cluster patterns.
Sadly, devious action can stem from the MAUDE as well. Manufacturers may hide Adverse Events from the FDA, and then cite to the MAUDE in its claims of low-incident rates. By controlling the number of reports to the MAUDE, it can make dubious claims about its product success rates.
Reporting Adverse Events is critical to assist doctors and the medical community at large understand the risks a product may pose to certain individuals.
How can Combies Hanson, P.C. help?
We know that drug and medical device companies have an obligation to the Food and Drug Administration. That obligation requires they report adverse events involving their product. If they don’t, fines and even recalls may follow. More importantly, concealing this information puts doctors at a disadvantage when assessing the risk profile of a product or drug. We undertake an extensive investigation to determine whether doctors’ decisions were made without accurate information, all because product manufacturers hid the truth.
Our investigations span the globe. We investigate whether a product manufacturer has been caught under-reporting in the past, or if its company is plagued with recalled products having unforeseen side effects. We dig deep to determine whether a product manufacturer or drug company hid the truth from the FDA so it could sell more and increase profits, at the expense of patient health.
If a friend or family member you know experienced a catastrophic tragedy from a drug or medical device, contact our office to learn if there’s something we can do to help.
Product cases we are currently investigating:
Sorin Mitroflow Heart Valves
Becton Dickinson Alaris System Infusion Pump
- On March 6, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it had recalled the Becton Dickinson Alaris System infusion pump due to it causing serious injury and premature death.
- LivaNova VNS Therapy SenTiva Generator System, model 1000 used for vagus nerve stimulation therapy has “unintended reset errors.” This may lead to reintervention or removal.
The FDA has classified this as a Class I recall because use of the device may cause serious injury or death.