Product liability is the legal theory that holds manufacturers and others accountable after they put dangerously defective products into the marketplace, leading to someone being injured. The theory can apply to many types of products, but some of the most serious involve defective drugs.
The pharmaceutical industry has a duty to test drugs for safety before releasing them to the public, using testing standards imposed by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. However, the fact that a drug has passed safety tests does not shield the manufacturer from liability if someone is injured by the drug. Sometimes dangerous drugs slip through and sometimes harmful side effects are not discovered until the drug has been on the market for some time.
Of course, most drugs have some type of side effects, and all medicine comes with risks. For this reason, drug manufacturers, doctors, pharmacists and others have a duty to warn patients about possible risks. This is why drug packaging often comes with a long list of instructions and possible side effects. Pharmaceutical companies have a continuing duty to warn patients about these risks, and so they must continue to alert consumers to newly discovered side effects and other issues.
Even with all these considerations, there are still many cases where people are injured by their medications in one way or another. In some cases, these injuries can be even worse than the condition the patient originally sought to treat through taking the drug.
The medical expenses and other damages associated with drug defect injuries can be enormous. These injuries can change a family's life forever. People who have been injured due to a drug defect can seek help from a personal injury attorney with experience with product liability.