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2017: The Year in Drug Lawsuits

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 28, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We rely on pharmaceutical drug companies to make safe products to keep or make us healthy. But all drugs come with side effects, so we also rely on those companies to warn us about those effects, and on doctors to only prescribe drugs in a safe manner. And, as the past year has proven, that doesn't always happen and the results can be disastrous.

Here are the major drug lawsuits from 2017:

1. West Virginia Counties Sue Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis

Two counties from the Mountain State were far from the only jurisdictions to put drug manufacturers and retailers in their crosshairs in response to the recent opioid crisis. Cabell County, consisting of a grand total of 96,000 residents was flooded with 40 million doses of opioids in just five years, and the lawsuit also claims retailers like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart ignored DEA warnings about pills ending up on the black market.

2. $28M Xarelto Verdict Goes Against J&J, Bayer

It was the first time a jury found against the drug makers among over 20,000 lawsuits that claim Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers about the bleeding risks associated with the blood-thinning drug Xarelto. The drug is Bayer's biggest seller, accounting for $3.2 billion in sales, but has been associated with thousands of adverse events and 370 deaths.

3. Florida Doctor Gets 8 Years in Prison for Medicare Fraud

It's not just the drug designers, manufacturers, and retailers that can be liable for prescription drug abuse or side effects. Doctors have also been complicit in illegally prescribing controlled substances. Dr. Roberto A. Fernandez was sentencing to 97 months in prison and $4.8 million in restitution after admitting to writing medically unnecessary prescriptions, sometimes for patients he never met, and, in some cases, for medications that conflicted with other drugs he had already prescribed.

4. Doctor Sued for Slipping Plan B Into Girlfriend's Drink

From nationwide drug conspiracies to doctors behaving badly when out of the office, a New York doctor was sued by his former girlfriend, who claimed he drugging her without her consent or knowledge in an attempt to end her pregnancy.

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