Prescription medications are a life-saving tool in the modern world. They cure diseases, fight infections, and give us more time with our loved ones. Tragically, medications are sometimes prescribed in error. When this happens and someone suffers injury, liability is on the medical professional.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a pharmaceutical drug, you may have a defective products claim. Pharmaceutical-drug-based product liability claims are similar to other defective product claims. Pharmaceutical-related injury claims have some differences.
Product liability is a type of personal injury case that arises when a consumer is injured by a defective or dangerous product. These products can include items that are ingested, such as food items or prescription drugs. In general, product liability is considered a strict liability type of tort case. This means that the manufacturers of the drugs are liable for any defect in the drug, causing injury to the consumer, whether the maker was negligent or not.
In general, product liability means that the manufacturer of a drug is liable for defects. This is the case regardless of negligence.
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs and medical devices typically lead to one of three categories of prescription drug claims:
The drug is fundamentally dangerous or defective Not all medications and medical devices are created equal. Some are born of flawed design, which can lead directly to subsequent injury. The manufacturer may be aware of the product’s flawed origins to begin with, or they may learn about them after the product is marketed and as further evidence becomes available.
The drug’s manufacture is defective Some drugs are well designed and beneficial, but they can become tainted, damaged, and/or dangerous during the manufacturing, shipping, labeling, and/or dispensing process.
The drug is labeled inappropriately No matter what a drug’s benefits, if its manufacturer fails to provide and affix the appropriate and necessary label warnings, instructions, intended usage, and/or recommendations, it can lead to serious injury.Whether the manufacturer is aware of these areas of defect or not, you – as an injured consumer – have the right to bring claim for product liability regarding any damage you sustain from these forms of defective medications or medical devices.
You will need to prove 3 things Injury You have to prove that you were injury. This is usually done through a battery of tests and exams AND Defective The drug was defective or improperly marketed (including having unreasonably dangerous side effects that you were not warned about), AND Bad Marketing The defect or improper marketing was the cause of your injury. Class Action Lawsuits If you have been injured by a commonly prescribed drug, you may be only one of a large number of people who have been similarly injured. In such cases, you may be able to band together and file a class action lawsuit. In some cases, a class action may already have been filed in connection with the drug that injured you, and you may have the option of joining that already-existing lawsuit.
To live healthy and productive lives, many people depend on the benefits of medications – both prescription and over the counter. You carefully follow your doctor’s medical advice with the belief that it is offered in good faith and will improve your health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications and medical devices can be more harmful than they are helpful. And as a healthcare consumer, you may not even be aware of the dangers inherent to your medical treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must test and approve any medication or medical device that is made available to the public, and the FDA monitors the safety of these products after they become available to consumers. Even with this rigorous process, medications and medical devices that cause serious injury continue to reach the healthcare market. In fact, once the FDA allows a drug’s passage, the drug usually won’t be recalled until it’s been proven to have caused significant damage to consumers.
Further, the FDA doesn’t recall all drugs that are linked to serious side effects and injury. Instead, the FDA states that drug manufacturers and the drug-distribution chain are responsible for managing drug quality and safety risks. This hands-off approach means that it’s often left to patients who have experienced injurious side-effects first hand to hold big drug companies accountable through the roundabout process of pharmaceutical litigation.
Defective drugs and medical devices are still available for consumer purchase and use. Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of profits. They invest in medical research and development with the expectation of a financial return. Unfortunately, when pharmaceutical products harm their users, it’s the consumer who ends up bearing the costs of injuries. If you’ve suffered damages from a medication or medical device in South Carolina, it’s your right to file a product liability claim. Product liability refers to the responsibility that manufacturers, distributors, and/or retailers of medications owe their consumers. This includes the responsibility to reasonably anticipate potential risks associated with their products, to eliminate or provide adequate warnings for those foreseeable risks, and to deliver products that are free from defect.
Ultimately, this process isn’t foolproof. It’s impossible to anticipate every potential danger that might be associated with a medication or medical device. In fact, most product liability claims are related to medication and medical devices. Every product liability case involving pharmaceuticals is unique. As a result, it’s important that you thoroughly identify all potential defendants in your claim. This includes identifying the supply chain from the manufacturer to the pharmacy. The supply chain consists of a number of entities.
The pharmaceutical manufacturer is usually a large company that provides the funding for research, development, manufacture, and distribution of a new drug. These pharmaceutical corporations aggressively defend against product liability claims. Testing laboratories conduct safety trials on pre-market drugs. This includes an elaborate series of tests. Pharmaceutical sales representatives typically work for the drug manufacturers. Their job is to meet with medical professionals and businesses to make drug recommendations. Sales representatives can be indicated in your claim if they played a significant role in recommending the injurious drug in question.
The prescribing doctor may be liable if they failed to provide adequate instructions or warn you about the drug’s potentially dangerous side effects. The hospital or clinic where you were treated may be liable for their part in providing the product. Finally, the pharmacy that filled the prescription is the final link in the chain. If your pharmacist improperly consulted you about the defective medication, they may also be held liable.