Product Manufacturers often escape liability by blaming physicians for the dangerous side effects of their own products or drugs. This effective defense tactic relies on the doctine of the "learned intermediary", which has been successful to avoid legal responsibility in cases involving lasers used by doctors in office procedures, or pacemaker programming options. Before the direct-to-consumer advertising avalanche, under this doctine, the manufacturer did not have to warn the user of risks because the patient was believed to rely on the prescribing physician’s advice. But the Internet and bombardment of television ads for drugs have made the doctrine’s rationale obsolete.
Now, Trial Lawyers and Physicians are lobbying to eliminate this strategy in a House Bill just submitted by California Democrat Bob Filner in H.R. 542., which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Drug commercials prompt consumers to demand access to popular new medications by using the catch phrase, "Ask Your Doctor". Sure, the manufacturers want YOU to pester your family doc, then blame him when the drug causes injury. WARNING: Don’t believe drug companies really care about you.