oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Prescription, cosmetic and chemical drug products liability in Australia and some Commonwealth jurisdictions



Today, the area of drugs and drug product liability is a complex, ever changing synthesis of medicine and the law. Drugs are now recognised as inherently dangerous with potential for causing harm. The majority of today's prescription drugs hardly existed twenty years ago. In this age of chemotherapy, masses of the population are vaccinated or innoculated against diseases, and few, if any, individuals, do not at some time or another make use of medical prescriptions. It is then only to be expected that courts will at one time or another be flooded with cases of alleged injuries suffered from the use of such drugs. Such an avalanche of litigation did occur in the United States of America, but did not materialise in Commonwealth jurisdictions.There appears to be no legal obligation on medical practitioners to report any adverse drug reactions, and the data on reported incidents must be considered incomplete. A number of reasons may be advanced for this lack of reporting.


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