If you believe that you or someone you know has recently been injured in a clinical drug or treatment trial, you may be able to pursue legal recourse by consulting with an attorney. If this applies to you, then it’s important to protect yourself by taking the following five steps. As the recent case involving cancer treatments managed by Juno Therapeutics illustrate, sometimes these clinical trials can even be deadly.
Clinical trials involve thousands of medications and treatments that are not yet ready to be fully marketed. Patients participating in these studies don’t have the benefit of the full range of testing and research conducted for treatments already available to the masses. Although testing is usually completed before humans are involved in the clinical process, injuries can and do happen. Patients in clinical trials still face risks, but they also may be able to pursue compensation for injuries if the managers of the clinical trial did not do the appropriate work ahead of human testing.
Get a Second Opinion
In this particular situation, your only doctor should not be one associated with the clinical trial. It’s well worth it to have a physician outside of the trial take a look at your condition and draw some conclusions. This may be your first opportunity to draw a connection between the clinical treatment and the injuries you have sustained.
Whether it’s your medical records, the consent form you signed at the beginning of the trial, or all the materials given to you about the test treatment, being organized can give you some peace of mind and also allow your attorney to begin making headway with the research process if you find yourself prepared to speak with a lawyer.
Contact an Attorney
If you believe that you have grounds for a legal claim, the right lawyer can have a significant impact on the way you feel about the case as well as the outcome itself. These cases are notoriously complex since case law regarding clinical trials is less abundant than other defective drug or personal injury legal claims. Furthermore, it can be challenging to identify who might be responsible, as more than one party could be held legally liable in this situation. Engaging with an attorney gives you a clear overview of your rights and responsibilities.
Don’t Sign or Agree to Anything
If the pharmaceutical company or any person associated with the clinical trial senses that you may be filing a legal claim, they may try to talk you out of it or encourage you to sign agreements, statements, or settlements that are not in your best interests. Make sure you avoid doing this without consulting directly with your lawyer.
Monitor Your Health Carefully
The impacts of a clinical trial might not end right after you stop participating, either. Keep aware of your health condition and report additional symptoms or problems to your doctor. Keep notes about the severity of your condition and alert your lawyer if you continue to decline or if you are diagnosed with a permanent condition as result of the trial, too.
No patient should have to suffer because of an extremely dangerous drug. However, when this happens, knowing your rights and taking action quickly are of paramount importance.
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