What is Pharmaceutical Malpractice?

Pharmaceutical malpractice occurs when, as a result of someone’s negligence, a person suffers a serious injury or death as the result of being prescribed and taking a defective drug, adverse reactions between multiple drugs taken by an individual, a drug incorrectly prescribed or an incorrect dosage of a correctly prescribed drug. Pharmaceutical malpractice is more common than one would believe, and affects a large percentage of our nation’s population every day.

Experts have reported that pharmaceutical errors are known to cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States. An estimated 106,000 deaths occur every year from non-error, adverse effects of medication. 7,000 more deaths per year occur as a result from medication errors in hospitals. Many errors are associated with the misuse of drugs and medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Costs from these medical errors range from $20 to $75 billion annually. The Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 98,000 Americans die annually as a result of preventable medical errors.

There are numerous causes of pharmaceutical malpractice. Increased pressure on the FDA to approve inadequately tested products, driven by drug manufacturers, for both profits and medical relief, causes many drugs to be rushed to market before full and comprehensive testing can be completed. This practice results in the population at large to be the actual test group, exposing the nation’s population to extreme and dangerous risks.

The true, negative, long term side effects of a drug may take an extended period of time to become apparent, making the dangerous results difficult to determine for years after the drug is introduced to the market. This is also true for potential negative side effects that may result from interactions with previously thought safe drugs a person may have taken for years without incident.

Arguably, a significant cause of defective drugs can be attributed to the testing process itself. An obvious conflict of interest exists when the party charged with an “impartial” testing procedure to determine the safety of a new prescription drug is the very same company that stands to profit from the drug’s speedy and unencumbered introduction into the stream of commerce.

A 2002 study suggested that the problem does not only apply to drug manufacturers. That study demonstrated that there was a 20% rate of incorrect dosages of medication in hospitals resulting in potential and actual harm to their patients.

In 2003, another study of pharmacist related errors showed that those pharmacists interviewed disclosed they intercepted 24% of written prescription errors. That figure neither takes into consideration the number of errors the pharmacists fail to detect, nor does it account for errors the pharmacists themselves are responsible for.

Have you, or a loved one, been injured or died from prescription medicine? Do you know what medicines are dangerous, and how to determine if you have been exposed to a defective drug? Call the Law Office of Dan Newlin and Partners for a free consultation and get answers to all of your questions. Pharmaceutical malpractice is a very complex and confusing area of the law and you need an experienced attorney by your side to help you determine all your rights. Dan Newlin & Partners are those types of attorneys, and have the knowledge and resources to obtain all the compensation and benefits you are entitled to if you are the victim of pharmaceutical malpractice. Call our office at (407) 888-8000. Call now, don’t delay.