People who are ill or recovering from medical procedures often assume that the drugs prescribed by their physician are safe. Contrary to this assumption, though, prescription drugs can be harmful and even dangerous when not manufactured or distributed in conformance with the law.
If you suffered injury due to taking a dangerous drug, the state of Georgia permits actions against that drug’s manufacturer to seek financial compensation for any side effects or lasting impact on your health. The services of a Fulton County dangerous drugs lawyer could be helpful in navigating both the civil culpability of the drug manufacturer and any potential criminal liability of the prescribing physician. An experienced personal injury attorney could also help you file a claim so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Dangerous Drugs Must be Prescribed
A claim for losses suffered due to a dangerous drug may only be presented in court if the drug that caused the injured party’s losses was prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider. By law, dangerous drugs can only be dispensed by doctors and physicians who:
- Are permitted to prescribe such drugs
- Are acting in the regular course of their health practice
- Have prescribed such drugs for a legitimate medical purpose, pursuant to Official Code of Georgia §16-13-78.1
Claims for losses suffered from the consumption of dangerous drugs acquired outside of a medical prescription are not permitted.
Civil Culpability of the Drug Manufacturer
Only the manufacturer of a dangerous drug—not the seller or distributing pharmacist—may be found civilly liable for any side effects. If the drug was consumed or could be thought to have reasonably affected the injured party, it constitutes the existence of a duty of care between the drug manufacturer and the injured party.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11, the manufacturer may be found liable for losses that result from its dangerous product. Showing the existence of a duty and a breach of that duty is a legal avenue that a Fulton County dangerous drugs attorney could help explore.
Criminal Liability of the Healthcare Provider
Georgia state law dictates strict rules and regulations a medical provider must follow when prescribing a dangerous drug. These laws exist to prohibit the release of an unnecessary amount of the dangerous drug into the public. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 16-13-74, the actual prescription must:
- Be marked with the date the drug was actually prescribed
- Be signed on the date the drug was actually prescribed
- Possess the name and address of the drug recipient
- Identify the name and strength of the drug
- Show the amount to be dispensed and the number of refills authorized
If a prescription from a health care provider for a dangerous drug fails to adhere to these requirements, the provider could face criminal prosecution. While an accomplished Fulton County dangerous drugs lawyer could bring a claim against the drug manufacturer, they may also be able to answer questions about whether the health care provider committed an illegal act in dispensing the drug.
Consulting a Fulton County Dangerous Drugs Attorney
Dangerous drugs can have serious side effects and cause injuries to your health if consumed under the wrong circumstances. On top of that, a negative impact from a dangerous drug may violate the manufacturer’s duty of care to consumers of its product.
If you experienced severe side effects or any type of health impairment after taking a dangerous drug that was prescribed to you, call a Fulton County dangerous drugs lawyer to discuss your rights and start working to obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.