Can You Sue Drug Companies?

By April 25, 2017Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical Drug Injury Law

Do you have any legal rights if you have experienced an injury or a serious illness after taking a dangerous drug or supplement? If, so you may have been wondering against whom you would file a drug claim. Would it be the pharmacy or the doctor who prescribed the drug, the pharmaceutical company who manufactured the drug, or even the Food and Drug Administration?

Suing U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The United States Food and Drug Administration has the responsibility of protecting the health of the citizens by regulating drugs, medical devices, vaccines, cosmetics, and gene therapies. Along with that, the FDA is responsible for animal medications and animal feed. Compounded drugs from your local pharmacy are not subject to the approval of the FDA, and often other drugs are only reviewed after they have been placed on the market.

The FDA was established in 1906, and since that time, thousands of dangerous drugs have been put on the market. Some have caused harmful and severe side effects and even wrongful deaths. One would assume after approving a dangerous drug or an over the counter medicine that caused impairment to you or a family member that filing a negligence lawsuit would be an option. The FDA has sovereign immunity as it is a government agency. Sovereign immunity means that government agencies cannot be sued unless the government agency permits it. The government rarely allows this to happen.

Pharmaceutical Drug Companies

Before 2013, a pharmaceutical company or a drug manufacturer could be sued. Any serious side effects, injuries, illnesses, or deaths would mean a lawsuit. Countless millions of dollars were paid in drug lawsuit settlements. However, in 2013 the United States Supreme Court made a historic ruling that once a drug has been approved by the FDA individuals are no longer permitted to sue the drug manufacturers, even though it has been confirmed or proven that the drug did cause harm. So, primarily after the FDA has approved a drug, people are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer.

Doctors and Pharmacists

You are forbidden to filing a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer or the Food And Drug Administration. You are allowed, however, to sue your pharmacy or your doctor if you were prescribed a hazardous or dangerous drug that caused you a loss or endangerment.

Physician Liability

A medical malpractice lawsuit and a drug lawsuit are distinctly different.

A lawsuit due to an injury or illness caused by the negligence of the doctor that prescribed the medications is considered to be medical malpractice.

If a patient can confirm or prove the negligence of the doctor was the direct cause of the illness or injury, the patient may expect compensation for his or her losses. If the negligence is an extreme case, a deceased or injured patient’s family may be granted compensation for any punitive damages.

Pharmacy Liability

Pharmacists receive comprehensive training and education and are expected to be familiar with each one the medications they dispense. Additionally, pharmacists should be educated about any potentially harmful side effects between any drugs if they are taken together. A legal duty of care is the responsibility of the pharmacist.    

The doctor and the pharmacist should work together to be certain that a drug prescribed will not injure or do harm to the patient.

The pharmacist and doctor are responsible for working together to make sure a prescribed drug will not damage the patient. If the communication is limited between a pharmacist and a doctor, the patient is the one who is affected the most.

As the patient and the consumer, you have a legitimate expectation and right to depend on the expertise of your pharmacist who filled the prescription and doctor who wrote the prescription. When they fail to protect you from harm, and you experience drug injuries caused by pharmaceuticals, you have a right to seek compensation.

The Attorney’s Role In Drug Company Lawsuits

Any drug or medical lawsuit requires legal representation.

Pharmacies and doctors will rarely admit to any fault and are commonly defended by considerably large insurance companies with unlimited funds. The help and support of an experienced personal injury lawyer will assist you in handling a claim like this.

A skilled attorney can take the depositions, subpoena any records and documents, hire expert witnesses, and anyone else who will be able to help your case.

If you have endured a dangerous side effect or illness due to a drug, seek the professional help and counsel of a personal injury attorney in Atlanta as soon as possible. Save the receipts, pill bottle, and the medical records. You will need to establish and prove the injury or harm you suffered was a direct result of taking the drug. Bring all the evidence with you when you meet with your attorney.

 

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