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Understanding pharmaceutical drug liability

Product liability lawsuits often center on medicines and drugs. The Food and Drug Administration has established testing criteria for manufacturers to use before the drugs go onto the market. Those FDA criteria are considered industry standards, but even if a drug has an FDA license, it doesn't mean there is no liability for the drug's manufacturer if there it is proven that the drug is defective.

Some types of prescription drugs are "unavoidably unsafe." This means that no matter how carefully the drugs are manufactured, they can't be made where they are completely safe. For example, a drug may have side effects that are harmful but can still benefit the user. As long as there are adequate warnings given and the drug is prepared properly, then this usually not able to form the basis of a products liability lawsuit -- not a successful one anyway.

A drug manufacturer must warn people of the side effects of a drug. However, unknown dangers are not something that the manufacturer has to warn consumers of. The manufacturer is expected to keep physicians and other medical professionals informed of adverse effects that are discovered later on.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to a defective product such as a defective drug, you may have cause for legal action against the manufacturer or others. A personal injury attorney can provide information on how a civil lawsuit can be filed, the theories under which you might bring a claim and how to proceed. These are often complex cases that require a great deal of experience.

Source: FindLaw, "Pharmaceutical Drug Liability," accessed Dec. 30, 2015

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