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Defective Products: Pharmaceutical Drugs

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Defective products, or product liability claims, often take on a myriad of circumstances and products and, as such, give way to complex legal ramifications when certain circumstances apply. When an individual is harmed by a pharmaceutical drug, for instance, there are a number of legal considerations at hand and liability when a consumer is harmed by its use is rarely a simple question to answer. Pharmaceutical drugs, by nature, offer the potential for injury and like power tools or electrical appliances, their very use may be considered dangerous. But because of the nature of their distribution, liability can spiral in a variety of directions.

We've discussed the basic questions of liability in a simple defective products case, but when bringing a defective products claim resulting from use of a pharmaceutical drug, further considerations must be made.

There are three types of pharmaceutical drug liability claims: liability based on defects in manufacturing of the drugs; liability based on dangerous side effects of the drug (even when the drug is properly manufactured); and liability based on improper or inaccurate warnings applied to the drug in question.

As you can see from our post on considerations in more general defective product cases, (review the original post linked here), these distinctions mirror categories of standard products liability cases.

Defect in Manufacturing: A defect in the manufacturing process of the sale of a pharmaceutical drug might occur at the manufacturing facility or it may originate at the pharmacy where it was dispensed. Whatever the origin, these type of claims must prove that a mistake occurred from the point of manufacture to the point of receipt by the consumer.

Pharmaceutical Drugs with Dangerous Side Effects: Claims based on injury due to pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects often occur when it is discovered that a previously released drug causes injury previously unknown. It may take years on the market before it becomes known that the drug increases risk for stroke, for instance.

Improper or Inaccurate Warning: Claims based on improper marketing of the product simply involve cases where appropriate or accurate warning of side effects for a given pharmaceutical drug were not given or improper instructions were provided in the dispensing of the drug in question. Demonstrating this point of liability may be the simplest of the three categories, yet identifying the at-fault party may still pose difficulty. Doctors, pharmacists, nurses and any other medical providers may give verbal instruction or warning in the dispensing of a drug, for instance. Proving that liability after the fact may be quite problematic.

The complexity in these cases is one reason anyone harmed by use of a pharmaceutical drug should consult an experienced products liability personal injury lawyer.


The attorneys at Panio Law Offices offer a wealth of experience in defective products cases and we understand the considerations involved when injury results from the use of the pharmaceutical drug. We also understand the wide array of parties that may bear responsibility (at least in part) for your injuries and the variety and combination of claims that should be made in these cases.

If you have suffered harm you believe was caused by use of a pharmaceutical drug, call us at 888.799.7561. We can help.

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