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Defenses drug companies may use against product liability claims

Pharmaceutical companies play a big role in helping ill and unwell people continue their lives after an injury or illness. They do this by providing pharmaceutical drugs that are then provided over the counter or prescribed by doctors. But what happens when a pill or drug is faulty or doesn't list potential side effects? Believe it or not, these instances do occur and can have disastrous effects on the use of these drugs.

Since there is a wide array of pharmaceuticals on the market today, we will generally refer to them all as drugs. If a certain pharmaceutical has a prescription drug recall, an unlisted negative effect on health or an insufficient warning among other things that had a negative effect on a person's health, it could be liable for a products liability claim. This claim, if proven, would appropriate blame of the faulty drug to the appropriate parties and the injured can seek damages. There are a few responses drug companies may use if accused of a products liability claim.

Surprisingly, it is a common defense for drug companies to claim that they are not actually the correct supplier of the drug and that the prosecution is 'barking up the wrong tree' so to speak. Essentially it means the supplier of the drug and the manufacturer of the drug are two different parties with separate levels of involvement. The response to this claim is the 'market share liability' with appropriate blame based on a percentage of sales received by joint parties who marketed and/or manufactured the drug. Sometimes drug companies argue that the plaintiff substantially altered the product after it left the drug company's control, and this alteration caused the plaintiff's injury.

If injured parties are aware of the responses pharmaceutical companies may throw their way, they can better prepare for litigation. A drug company's defense tactic isn't necessarily a winning tactic. The one's listed above are not all inclusive of what a drug company may retort, either. If injured due to a manufacturing or marketing injury related to the pharmaceutical industry, consider what a product liability suit could do for you.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Product Liability?" Accessed Nov. 1, 2015

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