Big Pharma in the US is one of the most powerful industries on earth, dominating roughly 40% of the global pharmaceutical market (valued at around $413 billion). These industry giants have provided the world with some life-saving drugs, but the price tags are often excessively steep. At the very least, we should expect that these expensive drugs have passed strict tests for safety. But each day, hardworking Americans suffer from health problems due to defective drugs.
When innocent people suffer because of improper drug testing or inadequate warnings for side effects, they need someone to stand up for them. Personal injury lawyers with experience in product liability suits can help these victims receive the compensation they need to recover from their health complications. These claims can be filed both for prescribed and for over-the-counter medications.
What Is Product Liability?
When you buy a product on the open market, you have an expectation that it will be safe and free of potential dangers. Manufacturers, distributors, and businesses owe their customers a legal duty to ensure this safety. When we buy a product, there is an implicit agreement between us and these parties: in exchange for our money, they're providing us with a safe product.
Many of us may take product safety standards for granted. We naturally expect that if a product is readily available on the open market, that it must be safe. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, companies cut corners and rush through the safety inspection process to get a product onto the market sooner. When this happens, innocent people often suffer.
Categories of Defective Drug Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims can be separated into three main categories, which can be further narrowed to specifically apply to defective drugs:
A drug may cause injuries if it has been improperly manufactured. For example, there could have been a mistake made while the drugs were being bottled or labeled.
Dangerous Side Effects
This type of claim applies when a drug has dangerous side effects which could lead to serious injuries or health problems. Sometimes, the drug may have been available for an extended period before anyone discovered these side effects.
Pharmaceutical drugs are required to have adequate warning labels, instructions, and recommendations for the use of that drug. Failure to provide these precautions can sometimes lead to a patient's injury.
When this happens, manufacturers as well as doctors, pharmacists, pharmaceutical salespeople, and others can be held liable for failing to provide a patient with necessary information.
Each case is unique, and many product liability claims arise from a combination of these categories. For instance, a claim involving dangerous side effects would often also involve a failure to provide proper warnings about these side effects.