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What is a duty to warn in Georgia medical product liability?

| Oct 5, 2017 | Medical Product Liability

The advance of medical science over the past half-century has been nothing short of remarkable. While testing, diagnosis and surgical techniques have developed quickly, perhaps no area of medicine has had a more profound effect on people’s health than that of prescription drugs. From the development of antibiotics to the treatment of terrible diseases such as AIDS and cancer, pharmaceuticals have saved many thousands of lives and improved the quality of life for even higher numbers. However, while prescription drugs are beneficial, many of them also produce side-effects that can be damaging or life-threatening to some individuals.

Georgia residents may or may not know that pharmaceutical manufacturers have several legal duties with regard to the medicines they produce and market. This is true even after a medication is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For example, drugs must be manufactured correctly, and free from contamination or adulteration. However, even medicine that is properly made can result in harm if the individual patient is unaware of the dangers that drug may present to him or her.

Because of this, drug companies have a duty to warn patients with regard to the effects a medication may have on them, whether in general, or because of specific pre-existing conditions that patient may have. This is often done through providing the information to a so-called learned intermediary like a doctor or pharmacist. This information must get to the patient, however, in an understandable format, or else that person’s health may be put at risk.

Many Georgia residents have suffered life-threatening injuries from the effects of prescription medication, such as Xeralto or Zofran. When this occurs, it may be difficult to determine who may be liable for the damages that result. When either a drug company or doctor breaches the duty to warn, a patient may be entitled to compensation for injury.