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Medical Negligence and Pharmaceutical Injury

med-negligenceIf you suffered an injury after taking a defective pharmaceutical drug, your injury may have been caused by not only the conduct of the drug manufacturer in placing a defective product on the market, but also by negligence on the part of your treating physician.  We can also evaluate your case to determine whether your physician failed to provide you the level of care necessary to protect you from injury.

Physicians are responsible for ensuring that you receive proper medical care in response to the symptoms you demonstrate after using a defective drug. In cases where a healthcare provider fails to give you proper medical attention in either diagnosing or treating your injuries caused by a defective drug or medical device, we can evaluate your case to determine whether your physician committed medical negligence which may have contributed to your injuries.

In addition, sometimes physicians commit medical malpractice in their treatment of you due to medication mistakes. Medication mistakes are among the most common forms of medical malpractice. A report by the National Academies estimated that about 1.5 million Americans are injured by a medication error every year, resulting in an additional $3.5 billion in care expenses annually. This does not include the cost of missed work, lost productivity, and lost loved ones that victims of medication errors suffer. Common medication errors include:

  • Giving someone the wrong drug–confusion caused by similar drug names alone accounts for up to 25 % of all medication errors
  • Prescribing inappropriate drugs due to lack of patient or drug information
  • Delivering inappropriate dosage accounts for as much as 41 % of fatal medication errors
  • Using an inappropriate delivery method accounted for as much as 16 % of drug errors

These medication errors account for many pharmaceutical related injuries. There are many factors that can contribute to medication errors:

  • Pharmaceutical companies promote new drugs with expensive functions, including dinners, receptions, and junkets to tropical locales complete with recreational activities. These functions not only generate good will, but give pharmaceutical executives many opportunities to play up the benefits of the new drug. The drug companies also provide doctors with numerous free samples that allow the new drug to be quickly distributed to patients. Sometimes these functions promote the use of drugs for unapproved (off-label) uses that can be dangerous, such as the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents in Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA).
  • Pharmaceutical companies flood medical literature with reports of a drug’s benefits and minimize reports of side effects and dangers. Because most studies conducted on a drug’s safety and effectiveness are sponsored by the drug companies, they have a say in whether the studies are published or not. Research has shown that studies are more likely to be published when they show a drug has a significant benefit over placebo or competing treatments, while studies that show little to no benefit remain unpublished. Sometimes, drug companies even employ ghost writers to write articles and editorials promoting drugs. These articles are published in trade journals under doctors’ names.
  • Doctors who fail to research drugs, often keep prescribing a drug long after its safety hazards are known. These doctors may not follow recommended procedures or pay attention to recently-discovered dangerous drug interactions.

If a doctor or other healthcare professional caused your injury and you wish to file a lawsuit for your pharmaceutical injury, schedule a medical malpractice consultationwith the experienced drug litigation attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton today.

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