Generally, a manufacturer will not be liable for a patient's injury if the doctor was informed of all the possible risks involved. The only duty of a pharmaceutical manufacturer is to provide reasonable safety and functionality of a drug before it can go on the market. Research must be put into all possible side effects of a drug before it can be distributed. Failure to disclose all the risks of a drug to a physician will make the drug “unreasonably dangerous” under product liability law and the manufacturer will be held accountable.
Typically, the prescribing physician is the “learned intermediary,” meaning that they are assumed to have acquired the appropriate information from the manufacturer and know whether a particular drug is right for a patient. Therefore, the duty of advising the patient of potential risks of a medication falls on the physician.
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