Can Generic Drug Manufacturers Be Held Liable for Medications?
Generic drugs constitute the overwhelming majority of prescription drugs in the United States, with 9 out of 10 of all prescriptions being for generic drugs. Generic drugs are more or less identical to brand-name counterparts but are usually sold for a fraction of the price, with wider variety between individual distributors due to strong competition. However, while accessible, generic drugs can be prone to defects or failures to warn, all of which can injure end-users unjustly. When that happens, a Nevada product liability lawyer can help answer the question of who’s liable, and how.
Protections for Generic Drug Manufacturers
Generic drug manufacturers are limited by federal law, yet those same limits have ironically resulted in a great degree of legal freedom and protections that they enjoy. The issue stems from the fact that generic drug manufacturers can’t change their labels, and must more or less copy the brand name manufacturer’s labels directly. This has certain benefits overall, as it allows generic drug companies to provide up-to-date information using the studies and data from brand name manufacturers, but in practice, this also means that they’re stuck with anything that might be missing from the label.
The current most relevant precedent for generic company liability is a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that generic drug manufacturers cannot be held liable for the design of their drugs or labels, as both are almost exclusively borrowed from brand name manufacturers. In essence, because they can’t update their labels to warn patients of potential risks and side effects, they can’t be held liable for failing to warn somebody.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Generic drug manufacturers are protected by a wall of legal precedent in their favor, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely immune to liability—and even when they are, you can often find compensation through other sources:
- Generic drug manufacturers are still liable for severe manufacturing defects and things that are not reasonably part of the “design” of the drug. While they can’t be held liable for their formula, label, or lack of warnings, they are still responsible for the actual manufacturing process and anything else they have autonomy over. This is especially true in wrongful death cases, as egregious errors that lead to death are less likely to have general precedent in the favor of the company.
- The design of a generic drug is borrowed from brand-name manufacturers, which means that those same companies are often held liable for the failings of generic drugs, even though they had nothing to do with the manufacturing process. Design defects and failures to warn are usually the faults of the brand-name company, and as such, they can be sued.
Product Liability Attorneys Can Help
Drug manufacturers are responsible for some of the riskiest, most difficult times in life, but a breach of duty or defect can betray that trust in an instant. If you’ve been hurt by generic drugs in Nevada, you deserve extensive compensation—however, generic drug company liability is a complex affair, which is where Aaron Law Group can help. Our experienced product liability lawyers in Las Vegas can help you understand generic drug manufacturer liability in more detail, so give us a call today at (702) 550-1111 to schedule a free consultation.