Even though pharmaceutical drugs undergo rigorous testing and are closely regulated by the government, harmful pharmaceuticals still occasionally reach the market. At times, this may be because serious side effects that never surfaced when the drugs were given to test subjects began to affect a large number of patients once the drugs were placed into widespread use. This could be because the drugs weren’t tested in combination with other drugs commonly taken by patients with similar health issues or because the demographics of the test group weren’t broad enough. In other cases, the drugs were medically sound as designed but were made dangerous by flaws in the manufacturing process.
Once these problems arise, recalls begin and the affected patients begin to seek compensation for the harm they suffered. In the largest cases, class action lawsuits could lead to settlements worth billions of dollars in addition to millions of dollars in fines from government regulators.