Who is Responsible in a Drug Recall?

Late last month an Indian pharmaceutical company voluntarily recalled 10,200 bottles of allergy medicine. The cause? The blood pressure medicine atenolol was found to be mixed in. Though there does not currently appear to be anyone who has reported injuries from this medication mix-up, it is possible that someone taking the wrong medication could have a fatal reaction. Whether it is a potentially fatal combination of drugs or an allergic reaction to the blood pressure medicine, a medical mistake like this could have disastrous consequences.

So, should such an unfortunate turn of events come about, who is responsible? When something like this happens, it is the manufacturer who can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit. It was the manufacturer’s fault the blood pressure medication was included, after all.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to consumers that their products will not cause anyone harm if used correctly. Of course, a chainsaw manufacturer cannot be held liable if someone injures his or her hand when trying to touch the blade. But if someone is taking medicine like they are supposed to and it causes injuries or death, a manufacturer may be sued.

This particular pharmaceutical company, Zydus Cadila, has acted responsibly by recalling their medications, but a recall does not make the company immune from liability. If someone comes forward to say that his or her family member died while taking their allergy medicine, Zydus Cadila could find itself defending against a product liability lawsuit.

The recall was issued on May 8 and is for medications that are set to expire September 2015.