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Doctors all across the United States rely on a wide variety of drugs and medical devices to treat their patients. And while the vast majority of these drugs are safe because they are tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the vast majority of medical devices meet all safety standards and requirements imposed by federal and state law, there is always a risk of being harmed by an unsafe drug or medical device in the course of treatment, diagnosis, or surgery.

While the FDA must ensure that all drugs entering the market for consumers are safe, not all medical professionals at hospitals and other medical facilities use, prescribe and store these drugs properly.

The same can be said about medical devices and equipment used by healthcare providers, as there is always a risk of injury by an unsafe medical device if the hospital fails to inspect and maintain the device or equipment in compliance with safety requirements or uses the device negligently or carelessly.

How using an unsafe drug or device is medical malpractice

“Unfortunately, there are many cases in which patients sustain injuries or their medical condition worsens because their doctor uses an unsafe drug or medical device,” explains our Philadelphia unsafe drugs and medical devices attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC. “In this case, you have two options: file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the drug.”

To figure out which option is best you need to determine whether or not the drug was used by the doctor in a reasonably foreseeable manner and whether the drug had a manufacturing or design defect or it was improperly marketed or defective.

While drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe, the vast majority of drugs carry certain risks and side effects. Doctors and other healthcare providers, meanwhile, have a duty to properly inform their patients of the risks for a particular drug and instruct them on how to properly administer the drug. Failure to do so can turn even the safest and most harmless drug into an unsafe and dangerous one.

Product liability vs. medical malpractice lawsuit

If you are filing a product liability claim against the drug manufacturer for selling or distributing a defective or otherwise unsafe drug, you will have to prove that the drug had a manufacturing defect, design defect, or it was improperly marketed.

Even if you know for a fact that the drug that caused you harm is defective or unsafe, and you have decided to pursue a product liability claim, you may want to consider filing a medical malpractice claim as well. “After all, the doctor that prescribed, administered, or recommended that drug may still be held liable if he or she was negligent and that negligence caused your injury,” explains our unsafe drugs and medical devices attorney in Philadelphia.

In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical professional, you will have to establish that:

  1. A doctor/patient relationship existed
  2. The doctor breached his or her duty of care by providing negligent care
  3. That negligence was a direct cause of your injury and
  4. You suffered damages or losses as a result of that injury

Let our medical malpractice lawyers at The Weitz Firm, LLC, review your case and help you recover damages for being harmed by an unsafe drug or medical device. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 267-587-6240 today.

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