At Saffren and Weinberg, Marc Alan Weinberg, Attorney and Kenneth Scott Saffren, Attorney are partners. The firm’s tagline is “The People’s Voice In Court.” They make themselves available via phone at (215) 309-9577 or by email on the Saffren and Weinberg website. Saffren and Weinberg provides a no-charge, complimentary case review and answers questions for prospective clients.
Have you ever considered you could become a drug addict with a medical prescription given to you by your doctor? Shocking as it would sound, it is, unfortunately, a fact of modern medicine.
As per statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, in 2014, there were around 19,000 deaths from prescriptions with involving opioids. In 2015, the number increased to 22,000. Today, a majority of people use prescription medicines to treat their ailments.
An article in Consumer reports 2017 stated that Americans were given around 4.47 billion prescriptions in 2016 alone. It also found that around $200 billion was spent on unnecessary medicines.
A strange finding is that with an increase in the prescriptions filled, there has also been an increase in medical malpractice claims.
Opioids and medical malpractice
Many pain medications contain opium, a common ingredient in heroin, a lethal narcotic. Some medicines that contain opium are OxyContin, Morphine, Codeine, among others. When unsupervised, and if the patient has to take the medication for a long-term, they often get used to the medicine and thus indirectly become opium or drug addicts.
This points out to the opioid epidemic that is rampant in the US today. The reports that the number of prescription opioids sold has increased at least four times in the last decade though there has not been an increase in the reports of pain or pain-related ailments indicate that there is a missing link.
If a doctor prescribes medicines with an opioid to a patient without any valid medical reason or over-prescribed the medicine, it amounts to medical malpractice. If the doctor prescribes the wrong dosage or asks a patient to take more times than required, it is going to affect the patient.
Also, if a patient is taking other medications, a medicine with an opioid may interact with other drugs causing damage to the patient’s health. A doctor should be aware of such side effects and take steps to prevent such interactions.
It is also a doctor’s responsibility to communicate clearly with the patient regarding the prescribed medicines, the usage, and also if there could be any side effects.
The doctor should also monitor the patient’s progress so that if the pain ceases to exist, the medicine should be stopped. It is a case of medical negligence when the doctor fails in any of his responsibilities at any of the stages of the patient’s treatment course.
If you or any of your loved ones have or is currently suffering from any side effects or addiction-related issues due to over-prescription of opioids, then you could have a case against your healthcare provider.
Speak to a medical malpractice lawyer and take every possible step you can to bring to book the doctors for your distress.
Once you can prove your case, you will get a deserving claim that will help you to pay your medical bills and also for any rehabilitation treatment for the future. Your complaint will also help others become aware of how a wrong prescription from trusted healthcare providers can play havoc with their life.
Steps to take when there is an opioid-related malpractice
Medical claims or complaints need strong evidence. Of course, you will have all the hospital papers and the prescription details, yet, to prove your case, you will need scientific proof and also testimonials from medical experts.
You know your doctor was negligent but to prove that there was an error in the right medical diagnosis or in prescribing the right medicines, you will have to back up your complaint with solid evidence.
A thorough investigation as well as collecting documents, papers, testimonials, witness’ statements, etc., would be required. A medical malpractice attorney can help you collect the proof you require to support your case.
You should also ask relevant questions regarding the medicines prescribed and seek details regarding the side effects and possible consequences. A drug addiction, even though acquired from medicines, can ruin your life and it may take years for sobering up. It will take even more time to reclaim your respect and trust in the eyes of others.
Your doctor is responsible for your well-being, and if they show negligence in any way, it is necessary to put a stop to it. Our team of medical malpractice lawyers at Saffren & Weinberg can help you. Give us a call at 215-576-0100 for a free consultation today.