Manufacturers of prescription medications have a duty to make sure their products have been thoroughly tested so they are safe for consumers. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has testing criteria that drug manufacturers must follow. However, consumers in Houston may be disturbed to hear that even medications that were licensed by the FDA could be defective.
Prescription medication usually have a "learned intermediary" - a person who prescribes the medication or fills the prescription, thus being essentially a person who plays a role in-between the medication being manufactured and the medication reaching the hands of the consumer. This can make determine who can be held liable in dangerous drug litigation complex.
In addition, some prescription medications are deemed to be "unavoidably unsafe." They may be beneficial from a medical perspective, but they may still have dangerous side effects nonetheless. If these medications are properly manufactured and contain adequate warnings, it may be difficult to prevail in a subsequent products liability claim.
However, all is not lost when it comes to dangerous drug litigation. Drug manufacturers must warn consumers of the side effects a medication could cause, except in the case of unknown dangers. However, because the manufacturers of prescription drugs are deemed to be experts when it comes to their products, they are duty-bound to keep current on the effects of the drugs they put in the marketplace, and they must take reasonable steps to ensure physicians and other responsible parties are made aware of any potentially dangerous side effects of the medication. This is true even if a reaction is rare.
As this shows, dangerous drug litigation cases can be very complex. Determining what a manufacturer's, physician's and pharmacist's duties are when it comes to liability can be complicated, as can whether a manufacturer has violated their duty to warn of dangerous side effects. However, with the right help, those harmed by dangerous prescription drugs can better understand their legal options for compensation.