If you’ve been injured by a prescription drug, the pharmaceutical company holds no liability as long as they’ve adequately warned your prescribing doctor.
That is the verdict of a recent case involving Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane. In 2011, a New Jersey jury awarded $2.1 million to Gillian Gaghan of California. Gaghan and nearly 8,000 other patients filed lawsuits against Roche, blaming their acne medication for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), said Bloomberg.com. Roche disagreed with the verdict in Gaghan’s case. After deciding to fight back, Roche won. The $2.1 million settlement was reversed. It was this recent reversal case in which the judge decided that “a prescription drug manufacturer fulfills its duty to warn if it provides adequate warnings to the prescribing physician, and it has no duty to ensure that the warning reaches the patient.”
Responsibility falls on the prescribing doctor, as long as they’ve been adequately warned of a drug’s side effects. But what about when a pharmaceutical company does not provide proper information on a drug’s complications and potential injuries? In that case, the Big Pharma company would be held responsible, as they should. Sometimes pharmaceutical companies not only fail to properly warn doctors and patients (in marketing campaigns), but, more cynically, suppress side effect information in order to sell more drugs. In cases like that, Big Pharma deserves to pay the price for people’s pain and medical bills.