Around Our Town...Legally Speaking
When Medications Hurt Instead of Heal - Part One
01/01/2006 - Drug manufacturers have a duty to appropriately test all drugs and medications before releasing them into the marketplace. When these substances are tested, the manufacturer must use a testing criteria developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The fact that a drug was properly licensed by the FDA does not stop a manufacturer's responsibility to the public and people they may injure if their drug proves to be unreasonably dangerous.
Some prescription drugs are unsafe by their very nature and the law considers them "unavoidably unsafe" products which means that they cannot be used without serious side effects even when they are properly manufactured. Such drugs may have potentially hannful side effects, but may be beneficial to the user nonetheless. If such drugs are properly prepared and adequate warnings are given the manufacturer is not negligent if,someone is hurt by their product.
A drug or medication manufacturer does have a duty to warn the public of side effects caused by their drug when those side effects are known to occur. The drug manufacturer has a continuing duty to update medical professionals on newly discovered problems with their drugs. It is not unusual that an unidentified side effect may be identified after millions of people have used the drug. Because, the drug manufacturer is the most likely party to get feed back on any problems with the drugs, they have the responsibility to identify these and provide warnings against them.
In some cases, people will not be able to identify the exact manufacturer of a defective product because the side effect took years to dev~lop and to be identified by the injured person. This is not a hopeless case, the negligent manufacturer is still liable for his negligence and can, in many cases still be held responsible.
Negligence cases involving drug and medication manufactures are complex and each state has its own laws and specific statutes that will affect a drug manufacturer's responsibility to a person harmed by a defective drug.
If you believe that you have been injured by a defective drug or medication a free consult with an experienced attorney can be the first step in identifying if you are suffering fron'l an unavoidable circumstance or an act of negligence on the part of the drug manufacturer.