What are Prescription Medicines?
When used as prescribed by a doctor, prescription medicines can be helpful in treating many illnesses. Stimulants are helpful in managing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants treat anxiety, panic, and sleep disorders. Opioids are prescribed to treat pain, coughing, and diarrhea. But when these medicines are misused, they can have serious consequences.
Who Is Liable for a Defective Prescription Medication?
Defective prescription medication can create devastating injuries. In cases where prescription medications are manufactured improperly, patients may not get the dosages or the products they need to stay safe, manage life-threatening illness or get better. The wrong doses or the wrong medications can cause serious harm to any patient.
When a patient injury occurs due to prescription medication issues, liability for the defective prescription medication must be determined. There are several parties who could be liable for defective prescription medication:
- Pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers. These are the companies that produce the medications. They tend to be large multinational corporations. If your medication was manufactured incorrectly or if a company manufactured a product that is unsafe, you may have a claim against the manufacturer.
- Testing laboratories. Medication must undergo extensive testing before it’s released on the market. If testing laboratories release incorrect or inaccurate data about a product and you were injured by the product, you may have a claim against the laboratories.
- Marketing companies and pharmaceutical representatives. Marketing pharmaceuticals and prescription medications is big business, and some companies misrepresent the symptoms, side effects and uses of the product. If a pharmaceutical representative advocates unofficial off-brand uses of a medication, and a patient is injured by using medication that way, the patient may have a claim against those promoting the use of medication in that specific capacity.
- Hospitals, clinics and doctors. Those who dispense medication may be held liable if they prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dosages, or fail to mention side effects or possible dangers to a patient.
- Pharmacies can be held liable if they dispense the incorrect medication or the wrong dosage. They may also be held liable if they fail to warn patients about drug interactions, side effects or proper use. In some cases, pharmacies compound medications or prepare medications for use and can be held liable if they do so incorrectly, leading to an injury.