$320 billion was spent on prescription drugs in the United States for 2011. During 2012, US spending on traditional drugs dropped for the first time in 20 years. Among the commercially insured community we saw total spending drop 1.5%. However, this was offset by an increase in spending on speciality medications by 18.4%. When the Affordable Care Act is fully phased in, some experts predict that the amount of spending on prescription drugs will double over the next decade.
A risk for physicians, pharmacists, and nurses in all areas of practice is the potential liability for malpractice or negligence in prescribing or administering drugs. As we watch the use of pharmaceuticals rise, we can expect to see the risk of lawsuits related to their use increase.
Errors in medication can lead to illness and death, which makes determining who is at fault a very delicate situation. In some cases, the physician might have prescribed the wrong medication or an incorrect amount of the right medication. Other times the mistake was made by the pharmacist or it was a result of the nurse not following the directions when administering the medication.
As a physician, you are responsible when an error is made in choosing which prescription drug to give the patient. When a prescription is not correctly filled at the pharmacy or mislabeled, the pharmacist becomes liable. The nurse who is attending the patient can be negligent for the improper administration of the medication. In any of these situations, a medical malpractice has taken place and a medical malpractice claim can be made if the patient has suffered in any way, as a result of the incident.
Medical Malpractice Attorney
The role of the medical malpractice attorney is to first find out who made the mistake by tracing the prescribed medication through the entire chain and back to the original point of error.
At Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, we understand the challenges of dealing with medical malpractice claims and we are here to help. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer all your questions. Call us today at (414) 273-1144.