Was I Harmed By A Defective Drug Or A Medication Mistake?
When patients experience injuries after using prescription medications, it can be difficult to know if the harm resulted from a known side effect of the drug that the patient was warned about, or whether the injury resulted from either a medication error or a defect in the drug. Patients in Birmingham should be able to trust that they are receiving effective medicines and proper care from health care providers. It is important to understand that some medications can have harmful side effects, but the fact that a side effect occurs is not necessarily an indication that there is something wrong with the drug, or that the drug was negligent prescribed. Yet in many other circumstances where a medicine causes harm, the injury may have resulted from a defect or from a health care provider’s negligence. Consider the following information from our Birmingham medical malpractice lawyers.
Side Effects Do Not Necessarily Mean You Can File a Claim
Some medications have known side effects, and your doctor or pharmacist might have warned you about potential side effects before you took the drug. The packaging of the medication also may have reminded you about those potential side effects, including effects that can result from interactions with certain foods or chemicals. As the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) explains, adverse drug events are often the result of negligence or a problem with a medication, but not always. In some cases, knowing about side effects and deciding to take the drug anyway, and then experiencing the side effect, will not result in another party being liable.
Medications Can Have Various Types of Defects
While experiencing known side effects may not allow a patient to file a claim, it is important to know that drug companies have a duty to warn patients and health care providers about risks and side effects associated with use of the drug. Failure to do so may result in liability. To be sure, failing to warn about known side effects or risks may mean that you can file a “marketing defect” claim.
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can also cause injuries when other defects exist. For example, the design of the drug might make it inherently dangerous, or the medicine may have been tainted in the manufacturing process, allowing you to file a “design defect” or a “manufacturing defect” claim.
Medication Errors Take Many Forms
Medication mistakes can also result in medicines causing injuries to patients. For instance, a doctor might prescribe a drug that will interact dangerously with another drug the patient currently takes, or a doctor might prescribe the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage. Sometimes these errors occur at pharmacies, as well, when a pharmacist fills the wrong prescription or the wrong dosage of a drug.
Contact an Experienced Birmingham Medical Malpractice Lawyer
To determine if you experienced harm from a medicine that can allow you to file a claim, you should seek advice from a lawyer who can help. If you were harmed because you used a medicine, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the experienced Birmingham medical malpractice attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk to find out more about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit or a dangerous drug claim.