The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Monday, May 15, 2017

Malpractice and Prescription Drug Errors

Can I sue if I am injured by a prescription drug?

Prescription drugs can provide much-needed relief and even prove lifesaving, but these medications can also come with serious side effects.  If a doctor fails to warn a patient of potential side effects, or if a mistake is made during the prescription process and injuries result to the patient, these errors can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.  Our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer at The Cassidy Law Firm discusses prescription drug errors and your legal rights below.

Your Doctor’s Duty When Prescribing Drugs

Prescribing prescription drugs to a patient must be done with care and in light of any potential side effects.  Side effects of a prescription drug include any symptom unrelated to the condition for which the medication was prescribed.  Examples of side effects might include insomnia, blood thinning, depression, kidney damage, and even death. When your doctor prescribes a medication, he or she must carefully assess:

  • the risks and benefits of the medication in consideration with the patient’s health;
  • any potential interactions with other medications the patient is taking; and
  • the medication’s known side effects.  

Pharmacists dispensing medication must read the doctor’s prescription and fill the medication as prescribed.  When medications are administered directly by the doctor or nurse, the medication must be administered in the proper dosage and according to medical protocol.

Medical Malpractice and Prescription Drugs

If a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist fails to comply with any of the above duties, it could form the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.  A patient injured due to a prescription drug error will first need to establish that the medication was taken according to instructions.  Next, the patient must prove that the doctor failed to provide adequate warning as to the drug’s side effects or that the medication was dispensed by a pharmacist in a manner that differed from the doctor’s prescription.  For the claim to be viable, the plaintiff will need to prove a link between the prescription drug error and the harm suffered.  

Anyone injured by a prescription drug error should consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.  Injured patients may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex, so injured patients are advised to act quickly and seek experienced legal assistance.

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