Doctors prescribe medications to their patients in order to help treat and manage a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Ideally, the medication is effective at treating the condition without causing any unpleasant side effects. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Doctors have a responsibility to warn patients about potential side effects that a drug may cause or whether it will interact with medication the patient may already be taking. Yet, many patients report that doctors rarely counsel them about the side effects of the drugs that they prescribed, causing them to seek answers from the internet.
According to Douglas Bremner, Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, doctors often learn about a particular drug during continuing-education programs. However, these programs are usually funded by pharmaceutical companies. These companies will often provide the continuing education speaker with the slides for the presentation, which portray the company’s drug in a very favorable light. When people like Bremer used their own material for presentations, they were often not asked to return.
A professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, commented that doctors will prescribe drugs that may not be the best choice, recommending brand name drugs over less expensive generics, or suggesting a drug to treat a disease that is not serious. Unfortunately, the people who are in control of prescribing drugs often know the least about them.
Patients Must Advocate for Themselves
Patients must find out as much information as they can about a drug that has been prescribed to them. Potential resources include government databases, like MedlinePlus, that are not affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, if a patient develops a new symptom after they have started a medication, they should assume it is a side effect of the drug, until it is proven otherwise.
According to the Chief Executive of Enhanced Medical Decisions, doctors do not always report side effects, which may be part of the reason why they underestimate them. The reporting is voluntary, which warps the findings in the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System.
It would be impossible for a physician to know the possible side effects of every drug on the market. However, there are plenty of resources, including databases, continuing education, and pharmacists that can provide the information they need about any side effects or drug interactions.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Patients Suffering from Drug Side Effects
If you are experiencing serious side effects from a drug that was prescribed to you by your physician, you may be eligible for compensation. Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side and will work hard to determine whether there is any evidence of medical negligence. If you were not warned about the potential side effects of the drug you were prescribed, we will recommend the best course of action based on the details of your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.