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Fentanyl Pain Patch Defects Are Deadly. Get Experienced Legal Help.
Why Are Fentanyl Pain Patches Potentially Dangerous?
In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the delivery of Fentanyl through a patch. The patch delivers the drug through the skin over a period of one to three days to provide continued pain control. While most often used by cancer patients, it is also used by people with many types of moderate to severe chronic pain.
Fentanyl patches are supposed to release a controlled amount of medication each hour. Unfortunately, many patches are defective and release too much pain medication at once. Overdoses of Fentanyl are often due to seal breaches or the malfunction of the membrane that releases the pain medication. Sadly, hundreds of patients have died due to Fentanyl patch manufacturing defects.
Symptoms of Fentanyl overdose include:
- Difficulty walking
- Slow breathing
- Extreme weakness
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
Fentanyl Patch Recalls
Millions of Fentanyl patches have been recalled due to manufacturing defects and the dangers of overdose:
- Alza Corp. and Janssen Pharmaceutical (the Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries that manufactured and marketed Duragesic®) recalled five lots of patches in 2004.
- Johnson & Johnson again recalled 32 million patches in 2008 for possible leakage.
- Actavis Inc. also recalled 14 lots of Fentanyl Transdermal System CII patches in 2008.
- In 2008, Watson Pharmaceuticals recalled 28,000 units of its generic version of the Fentanyl patch because its ingredient levels deviated from approved specification.
Other causes of leaks were found after these recalls were issued. It is possible that several other brands of Fentanyl patches were not recalled, despite releasing dangerous dosages of the narcotic.
Liability In Fentanyl Pain Patch Deaths
In most cases, manufacturers of the pain patch can be held liable for deaths resulting from the defective product. The manufacturers released defective and harmful products to the consumer. They also did not monitor the product carefully during its release period. Most disheartening is that manufacturers knew of possible defects since the 1990s, yet failed to warn of the potential dangers and delayed recalling their products.
Doctors, too, may be held liable in some instances. The FDA has investigated reports of people dying from Fentanyl pain patches who should have never been prescribed them in the first place. Its potent anesthetic is 100 times stronger than morphine. Yet, reports showed that people were prescribed the medication for occasional acute pain such as headaches or pain following surgery.
Many victims of Fentanyl pain patches have filed successful multimillion dollar lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Alza Corp., for manufacturing defects in the Duragesic® Fentanyl transdermal pain patch. Other lawsuits are anticipated or pending against manufacturers of the generic versions, including Sandoz, Mylan, Actavis and Watson.
You are not alone. Take action now to obtain justice for the wrongful death of your loved one by pursuing Fentanyl patch litigation.
Contact An Arizona Lawyer Who Understands Drug Injury Claims
If you have lost a loved one as a result of using any brand of the Fentanyl transdermal pain patch, please contact The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., for a free consultation. We are actively investigating and litigating these claims.
Call 480-951-3949 or contact our firm online to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced product liability attorney. We provide representation to people throughout the greater Phoenix area.