Today, the United States has millions of Americans taking prescription drugs, such as Invokana and Coumadin. These prescription drugs help to treat various infections and diseases. However, a significant problem is the substantial side effects that many prescription drugs have. The number of personal injuries that occur because of inadequate warning labels, such as a lack of a warning label on Januvia or Daytrana, or instructions by pharmacy companies or doctors is growing rapidly. The common rule today is called the “learned intermediary doctrine” that requires doctors but not pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate warnings.

What Is the Learned Intermediary Doctrine?

The learned intermediary doctrine requires that doctors and not prescription drug manufactures adequately warn consumers. The learned intermediary doctrine applies to medical devices, implants, etc. The main reason courts have applied this doctrine is because doctors and not drug manufacturers are in the best position to adequately warn their patients of any potential side effects.

What Are Exceptions to the Learned Intermediary Doctrine?

There are a number of exceptions that don’t require prescription drug manufacturers to give adequate warnings. These exceptions include:

  • Mass Inoculations: If there are mass inoculations, courts require that drug manufacturers are required to provide adequate warnings.
  • Birth Control: The Food and Drug Administration has required that birth control devices are required to have adequate warnings.
  • Prescription Drugs Advertised: When prescription drugs are directly advertised, such as Avandia or Zoloft, it is necessary to provide adequate warning requirements. For instance, on television, all prescription drug commercials are required to provide warnings regarding side effects.

Should I Hire an Attorney?

An experienced class action attorney that deals with medical malpractice or prescription drugs can be extremely helpful in filing a cause of action against doctors or pharmaceutical companies for inadequate warnings. In addition, experienced attorneys can determine if your case falls under an exception to the learned intermediary doctrine.