Is a Drug Company Liable for Side Effects?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Is a Drug Company Liable for Side Effects?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Medication manufacturers – whether of a prescription medication or over-the-counter medication – can be held liable for any dangerous side effects that occur with their medications. However, there are limitations to this rule, and not all manufacturers are held to the same standards when dangerous side effects occur. Therefore, if you have suffered from side effects of a prescription or over-the-counter medication, you should consult an attorney to see if you have a valid claim.

Ultimately, know that if you are injured by a dangerous drug or because a physician failed to notify you of potential side effects, you do have options for recourse. An attorney can help you decide which lawsuit will apply and the type of compensation you may be entitled to.

The Duty to Warn of Known Dangers

A manufacturer of any consumer medication is required to test that medication via clinical trials, and they must get approval from the government before they officially release that medication to the public. Once the medication is approved, that manufacturer must warn the public of known side effects. This notification can be on the bottle itself, in an information pamphlet or television commercial, etc.

If a dangerous side effect occurs that was originally discovered by the manufacturer, but they failed to notify the consumers about this dangerous side effect, then the manufacturer is liable for any injuries or deaths that occur. But, if an unknown side effect occurs, the manufacturer is not responsible. Any adverse effects, as they become known, must be reported to physicians, marketers, and consumers associated with the product.

Holding Intermediaries Responsible

The drug manufacturer is not responsible for contacting and warning consumers directly. Instead, they warn via intermediaries – such as pharmacists and physicians. If they fail to warn these intermediaries of known side effects, then the manufacturer is responsible for any effects that occur.

If, however, they do notify the intermediary, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to notify the consumer about potential side effects. Failing to do so means that the pharmacy or physician is then responsible for any injuries or deaths that result from those side effects.

Meet with a Product Liability Attorney

These types of cases are extremely complex and often require a skilled attorney to assess the validity of the claim. Your attorney will have to research whether there was adequate warning, if physicians were aware of the side effects, and whether or not you were properly notified before the medication was taken. You can meet with an attorney from Malman Law regarding your dangerous drug, and we will determine if you have a valid product liability claim against the manufacturer, your physician, or the pharmacist.

Schedule your free consultation at 888-625-6265, or fill out an online contact form to get started.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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