Prescription Drug Attorneys in Jacksonville
Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and Clients Throughout Florida
Every year, thousands of Americans are injured or killed by prescription drugs which are either defective, improperly prescribed by the physician or improperly filled by the pharmacist.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 1.9 million people in 2013 became ill or died from side effects of prescription medications or because they were given the wrong medication or incorrect dosage of the medication.
In hospitals alone, the AHRQ reports that over 770,000 people are injured or die each year from adverse drug events. Medication errors are a frequent cause of adverse drug events.
According to the AHRQ, these medication errors generally fall into four categories:
- Physician ordering (39 – 49%)
- Nursing administration (26 – 28%)
- Transcription errors (11 – 12%)
- Pharmacy dispensing (11 – 14%)
Who is Liable for Prescription Drug Injuries?
Depending on the cause of the patient’s injury, several individuals or institutions can be liable for a prescription drug injury, such as those caused by low testosterone treatments.
Manufacturers of medications can be responsible for prescription drug injuries when the medication is defective, not properly tested or if inadequate warnings or instructions are given for use of the product.
For example, the FDA relies on manufacturers to properly test proposed new drugs and to accurately report the results of their research to the FDA. If the manufacturer fails to properly test or accurately report the test results to the FDA, a defective drug or one which causes serious side effects can be placed on the market. Patients using these drugs can suffer serious injuries.
The manufacturer must also supply proper instructions and warnings regarding the use of any prescription drug. If a drug must be taken on an empty stomach or must not be taken in conjunction with another medication for example, then the manufacturer must provide these instructions/warnings. Failure to do so can subject the drug manufacturer to liability for injuries caused to patients.
A physician can have liability for prescribing a drug which is not appropriate for a patient. For example, this can include prescribing an incorrect drug to treat the patient’s condition or prescribing a drug which the patient should not take because of a pre-existing condition. Sometimes prescribing an incorrect drug can also have adverse effects when taken with other medications.
A physician can also be liable for prescribing the wrong dosage of a drug or failing to properly monitor the patient for adverse side effects. For example, patients taking anticoagulant medications, such as Coumadin or Warfarin, must be monitored to determine that the medication is not completely preventing the blood from coagulating. Failure to monitor the proper blood levels of these medications can lead to excessive bleeding. If a patient is injured or dies because of such bleeding, then a physician may be liable.
Nurses and hospitals can also be liable for administering the wrong dosage of a medication or giving the medication through improper means. For example, if a drug is ordered to be given orally and the nurse gives the medication intravenously, this can cause serious reactions in some patients. Similarly, if the nurse gives the wrong dose of the ordered medication, then he or she may be liable if the dosing error causes injury to the patient.
Pharmacists may also be liable if they provide the wrong medication, incorrect strength of the medication or wrong dosing information. As an example, if a physician orders a particular medication in a 5 mg dosage and the pharmacist provides the medication in a 50 mg dosage, the pharmacist could have liability for any resulting patient injury.
The same would hold true if the doctor had ordered the medication to be taken one time per day and the pharmacist gave instructions to the patient to take it four times per day.
Sometimes handwritten prescriptions can be misinterpreted and transcribed improperly by a nurse or pharmacist. If a written prescription is unclear, then the nurse or pharmacist must contact the doctor and ensure the medication is being filled accurately and with the correct information.
The majority of errors relating to prescription drug medications occur during the ordering and administration phases. Other errors that can cause injury can include: missing doses of medications, duplicate therapy, drug to drug interaction, and inaccurate monitoring.
Contact Hardesty, Tyde & Ashton, P.A., today.
If you believe you have suffered injury as a result of a defective or improperly prescribed prescription drug, one of our attorneys specializing in Prescription Drug cases in Jacksonville would be happy to provide you with a free consultation regarding your case.
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What constitutes a personal injury?
The most common personal injury is an auto accident, but the broad definition encompasses any situation where a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Early identification of a personal injury is important to the legal process. Many serious injuries occur each year involving:
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability accidents such as injuries caused by a slip and fall
– Medical malpractice/nursing home injuries
– Wrongful death
– Work-related accidents
– Animal attacks
– Faulty or malfunctioning products (product liability)