Medical Malpractice and Off-Label Drug Use
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on February 17, 2014
There are many different ways that doctors can help patients. Sometimes this involves creativity and lateral thinking to ensure wellness. In recent years, this has often meant the off-label use of certain medications. While off-label use has been effective for many people, there have been times when off-label medication use has proven quite dangerous. Our medical malpractice attorneys are especially attentive to these kinds of cases given the serious injuries that may occur.
Right now, our team would like to look at some of the basics regarding these kinds of cases. This should help you understand the seriousness of this issue.
Off-Label Use In Medical Treatment
Off-label use refers to medications being prescribed to treat medical conditions that they are not indicated to treat by the manufacturer. This is more common than some may think. It's estimated that around 20 percent of medications prescribed are done so off-label. This number may be higher.
The Dangers of Negligent Off-Label Use
The off-label prescription of drugs is not medial malpractice per se since medications used off-label can be helpful for a number of cases. However, when a drug is prescribed for off-label use and results in harm, that may be grounds for a medical malpractice case. This is especially important to consider if an off-label medication leads to adverse health conditions in a patient, such as high blood pressure, kidney damage, and so forth.
For instance, a child may be prescribed a medication for off-label use. The problem is that a number of these off-label medications have not been tested on children. This could mean major health problems for a growing child, whether in the short term or later in the child's life.
Contraindications and Off-Label Medicine Use
Some of the most serious kinds of medication errors involve contraindications with other drugs. This means health problems that arise from taking combinations of different medications. When a patient is prescribed a drug for off-label use, it's important that the doctor consider other medications that the patient may be taking. If there is a contraindication with another medication that the doctor does no catch, this can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Pharmacists May Be a Last Line of Defense
When it comes to medication issues and potential injuries, pharmacists are often the last line of defense for patients. While filing a prescription, whether off-label or not, pharmacists should explain the dosage of the medication as well as potential contraindications. If the pharmacist does not do so, he or she may be negligent in their duty to provide proper care.
How Our Attorneys Can Help Injury Victims
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medication prescribed for off-label use, we will make sure that the negligent medical professional is held accountable and that you receive just compensation for any injuries or losses sustained.
Learn More About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If you would like more information about medical malpractice lawsuits with regard to medical errors and pharmacy errors, be sure to contact our Salt Lake City, Utah medical malpractice attorneys today. Our team of lawyers is eager to meet you in person and help you obtain just compensation for any injuries and lawsuits that you have sustained.
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They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family.- Jill S.