Pennsylvanians now have recourse for irresponsible drug marketing

Medicine is supposed to help you feel better when you are in pain or otherwise improve your current state of health. People in Philadelphia may turn to prescription medication or simply over-the-counter options to help relieve their symptoms. Unfortunately, there are defective drugs that can do more harm than good. Up until recently, pharmaceutical companies were actually able to market dangerous medications without consequence. A new state Supreme Court ruling is changing that.

In 2006, a lawsuit alleged a manufacturer was responsible for the death of a woman who had taken a weight loss medicine. The drug had been linked to a type of heart disease, but the company had continued to market it anyway. The case was dismissed in a common pleas court on the grounds that when the Food and Drug Administration gave the company marketing approval, they had noted that the medication was reasonably safe.

After two appeals by either side, the case reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A judge ruled that according to state law, drug manufacturers may be sued when they exhibit “lack of due care.” Therefore, if the company continues to advertise a medication despite reports demonstrating it is harmful, they may be held responsible.

When a company produces and distributes a drug that is harmful, regardless of if they recognize it or not, those affected have the right to file a lawsuit. An attorney is best suited to help victims or their family members pursue compensation, whether there was an insufficient warning label or a consumer death. Victims are entitled to seeking damages for their worsened condition, among other things.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, “Pa. Supreme Court says drug firms can be sued for ‘lack of due care’,” John George, Jan. 24, 2014

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