Articles Posted in defective drugs

A decision by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court held that a plaintiff should not be allowed to recover personal injury damages for the wrongful birth of a healthy baby. The child was reportedly conceived after the plaintiff had been implanted with a form of birth control that was inserted into the plaintiff’s arm. 

The plaintiff gave birth to a boy, who was healthy, in the summer of 2014 when she was 21 years old. However, as she explained to the court, she had visited a health care center to weigh her options for birth control.

According to court records, the plaintiff’s doctor recommended the use of an implantable device manufactured by the defendant. It consisted of a single, four-centimeter-long rod that was to be inserted underneath the skin of the patient’s upper arm with an applicator that looked like a syringe. The drug was designed to prevent pregnancy for at least three years, unless the rod was removed sooner by a doctor. It works by blocking the ovulation process.

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Given the astronomical price of prescriptions drugs, it is no wonder that Maine residents sought relief through cross-border imports. In fact, people have routinely secured out-of-country prescription medications since the 1950s.

However, the problem has always been that such transactions were technically illegal under state and federal law, even if they weren’t strictly enforced where individual sales were concerned. From a defective drugs lawsuit standpoint, it meant that people had little recourse if the drugs they received were not made and transported safely.

Then late last year, Maine became the first state to legalize the direct purchase of mail-order drugs from certain foreign pharmacies – companies out of Canada, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Even so, it’s still not clear what legal liability these firms might have if their drugs turned out to be defective or harmful.

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