As personal injury attorneys who handle pharmaceutical malpractice cases, we realize that people trust scientists with our health to produce new drugs that will increase our quality of living. These people also trust their doctors to make sure that the right prescription and the right dosage are assigned. But sometimes there handwriting is poor and it can lead to a similar drug being prescribed. Sometimes clerical staff enter a dose incorrectly in the computer, leading to too much or too little of a drug being administered. A variety of other types of errors can occur with prescription medications that are used for on or off-label indications.
There are three common reasons for a pharmaceutical malpractice claim to be filed: : (1) Drug Recalls, (2) Product Failure and (3) Long-Term Side Effects of prescription drugs. Improperly prescribed medication and improperly filled prescriptions can also be crucial pieces of a successful pharmaceutical malpractice lawsuit.
- A recent, fast-growing development in pharmaceutical malpractice has been prescription drug recalls. Reasons for prescription drug recalls include:
- Increased pressure for both profits and medical relief causes many drugs to be rushed to market. In recent years the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has simplified clinical trials to speed up the process of bringing new medications to the public
- Long term side effects are difficult to determine, especially in a patient with multiple issues
- Conflict of interest: the testing that is done on some prescription drugs, is done by the same pharmaceutical companies which are under a lot of pressure to get those drugs profitable.
There have been numerous prescription drug recalls for drugs that were supposedly safe but led to life altering and possibly fatal side effects in pharmaceutical malpractice lawsuits. Here are a few examples:
- Fen-Phen: Fen-Phen had been approved for many years as an appetite suppressant in the management of obesity. Heart valve disease was a side effect because of the combination of drugs used in production. Other cardiac effects became linked and recall occurred.
- Celebrex: Celebrex was an inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. There are now concerns that Celebrex usage may increase the risk of heart attack or strokes in some people who take it.
- Vioxx was a treatment for osteoarthritis, menstrual pain and management of acute pain in adults. There were concerns with Vioxx and Celebrex that their use might increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Sadly, in some pharmaceutical malpractice cases several similar wrongful deaths must occur to demonstrate a link between the death and the medication, before a drug recall is made. Improperly filled prescriptions can occur at several stages of ordering and filling a prescription. and there are typically two different kinds of this type of pharmaceutical malpractice case. In both types, the doctor or the pharmacist can be held liable for one of the following:
- A prescription contradicts another prescription that the patient is already taking.
- A pharmacist gives an incorrect medication or an incorrect dosage of the correct medication. It can take some investigation to determine at which point in the chain the error happened.
It can be challenging to navigate the healthcare maze when you are worried a loved one was hurt or died due to a medication error. Let a medical malpractice lawyer Naperville IL relies on provide guidance to make sure that those negligent are held responsible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into medical malpractice claim.