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Understanding when there may be liability for a dangerous drug

Dangerous or defective drugs can lead to products liability lawsuits when a dangerous or defective drug has caused harm. Prior to being released into the market for patients and consumers, drugs must be tested according to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) standards. While some drugs are considered unsafe under any circumstances, many do not fall into that category and drug manufacturers are required to warn patients of potential dangers of the drug.

Drug manufacturers are required to provide warnings concerning known dangers of a product. In addition, drug manufacturers are also required to keep up-to-date concerning any dangers and make updates regarding the product for the safety of potential patients. A product, such as a pharmaceutical drug, may be considered defective because the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions for the product. Manufacturers have duties to warn users of hidden dangers and also to provide instructions for the safe use of their products. Warnings must be clear and in a location that is easy to find.

In general, warnings are required when the product presents a danger; the manufacturer is aware of the danger posed by the product; the danger is present when the product is used reasonably and as intended; and the dangerous is not obvious to a reasonable user. It is important to keep patients and consumers safe from dangerous or defective products, including dangerous drugs. Additional protections, through the legal process, such as a personal injury claim for damages or wrongful death claim may allow victims and their families to recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional harm associated with a dangerous or defective drug.

Products liability claims, including those involving dangerous or defective drugs, can be complex, involve experts and may be brought based on different legal theories. As a result, it is important for victims to have knowledgeable guidance to help them sort the situation out after they have suffered harm because of a dangerous or defective drug.

Source:, "Pharmaceutical Drug Liability," Accessed July 12, 2016

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