Bloomberg Law

In the realm of pharmaceutical product liability litigation, it is expected that plaintiffs will sue the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Sometimes plaintiffs may sue their prescribing physicians. They may even attempt to sue the pharmacy or the pharmacist that dispensed the medication. These defendants do not seem too far-fetched or unexpected. Far less common, and indeed far-fetched, is suing the publisher of medical reference materials (i.e., patient education fact sheets, patient education monographs, the Physician’s Desk Reference) in such litigation.

How can a publisher of medical reference materials be held liable in such cases? Well, based on collective case law today, they cannot. Although plaintiffs have attempted to hold publishers liable for alleged defects in materials that they publish, courts across the country are rejecting such claims.

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