Who Is Responsible For a Bad Drug Reaction?

a person pouring pills into hand from prescription bottle

Medications often come with a laundry list of potential side effects, ranging from mild to severe. You have likely experienced a reaction to a drug at least once in your lifetime. Over 4 million Americans visit the emergency room every year with complaints related to a new medication. 

While side effects are often a necessary evil when taking a new drug, there are certain steps that both the pharmaceutical company and prescribing healthcare professional must take to ensure no one is unexpectedly harmed by a medication. 

When is a Pharmaceutical Company Liable for Side Effects?

It is the duty of the drug manufacturer to conduct thorough testing on a new product to discover any and all potential side effects, allergens, or interactions with other medications. It is also their duty to report this information to medical professionals that will be prescribing the drug. 

If it is found that a pharmaceutical company was negligent in any of these respects, it can be held liable for any resulting harm. For example, if a company failed to perform reasonable testing on a product, marketed the drug under false pretenses, or omitted common side effects in the drug’s description, they can be held responsible. 

In such cases, the resulting lawsuit is referred to as a “dangerous product” lawsuit. This falls under product liability and, in Colorado, has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of injury. 

When is a Doctor Responsible for a Drug Reaction?

It is the responsibility of your healthcare provider to clearly inform you of potential side effects of a medication. You should decide together if the drug is worth the possibility of nausea, weight gain, insomnia, or other reactions that might affect your quality of life. 

In addition to a conversation about potential side effects, your medication should also come with written instructions for dosage and a comprehensive list of possible reactions. This is typically given at the pharmacy, but your doctor may give you additional written information about a new medication. 

If you suffer an adverse reaction to a drug that your doctor did not warn you about, he or she may be liable for any injuries sustained. This falls under medical malpractice and, like product liability, you have two years from the date of injury to file suit. 

Help Filing a Harmful Medication Lawsuit in Colorado

Unexpected reactions to a drug can have devastating consequences, including pain, medical bills, loss of income, or even death. If you were harmed by a drug and feel you were misinformed by either your provider or a manufacturer, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Even if you were given verbal and written drug descriptions or the pharmaceutical company appears to have acted lawfully, you should still consult with an attorney. Harmful drug cases can be complicated, and you may still have a reasonable claim. 

David Roth has represented hundreds of personal injury claimants in and out of the courtroom. He is a skilled trial lawyer that holds negligent individuals responsible for the harm they cause. Call the Roth Group today or go online to schedule your free consultation.