When Medications Harm You: Pharmaceutical Drug Liability Cases
Written by Berkowitz
December 18, 2015
There are numerous prescription medications out there today that are infamous, not because of how they have helped people, but because of how they have hurt people. Pharmaceutical companies release dozens of new formulations to the market each year and unfortunately, each year thousands may suffer due to drug-related injuries. If you or someone you love has suffered harm as the direct result of a prescription medication, you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. Just like other product liability cases, dangerous drug claims require a number of specific elements to be present.
Assessing the Chain of Distribution
Prescription medications are not handled by a single party; instead, there is a complex participation among numerous organizations, government agencies and individuals. When a plaintiff files their claim, they must find out first who is responsible for their injuries – which means assessing the chain of distribution.
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturer – This group is the one that has originated the formulation and the medication. They create the drugs, package them and are required to test those medications to ensure they are safe for consumer use. They also submit to the FDA for approval – though approval is not necessary before distribution. The manufacturer, even with FDA approval, is still responsible for any injuries that are the direct result of their medications.
The Physician Prescribing the Medication – Sometimes it is not the drug manufacturer; instead, it is the physician. Whether they administered the wrong dose or failed to consult your list of prescriptions currently being taken, dangerous interactions and medications that do not suit your needs could be considered malpractice.
The Pharmacist – Doctors prescribe medications, but it is the pharmacist that ensures you receive the drugs prescribed and at the right dose. They are required to ensure their customers receive the correct medication, understand how to properly take it and that all prescription medication bottles are labeled.
Understanding Dangerous Drugs
Drugs are not always dangerous and in order to prove that one is, you must prove that the drug itself harmed you in some way. Two of the most common defective drug lawsuits that are filed in the United States include:
Medications That Are Manufactured Improperly – When a drug is manufactured incorrectly, such as the manufacturer failing to use proper quality control systems, a drug could be tainted. While the drug itself was not formulated incorrectly, this error during manufacturing could become fatal for some patients.
Inadequate Warnings – There are some drugs that have side effects, but these side effects may not be told to the patient. Improper marketing, incorrect/misleading information and prescriptions being used for reasons other than their intended use.
Contact the Defective Drug Attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC
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