There is a very good reason that doctors have medical malpractice insurance. Bad things happen to good patients. We speak of doctors practicing medicine, not perfecting it. Doctors are human and life is fragile. The types of life-ending mistakes a doctor can make are too numerous to mention. Three of the more common mistakes are:
* Prescribing drugs that interact poorly
* Using out-of-date information
Until humans reach a state of perfection currently out of reach, these types of mistakes will continue to happen. There is little that can be done about them.
The Other Malpractice
There is another type of medical malpractice that cannot be laid at the doctor’s feet. The doctors do not make the drugs–they just prescribe them. The companies that make the drugs have much to answer for. When the drugs do not perform as advertised, or have effects that were not disclosed, the results can be devastating. A doctor’s mistakes effect one person at a time. A drug company’s malfeasance effects millions at a time. Here are a couple worth knowing about.
Avelox According to the National Institute of Neurological Disease Disorders and Strokes, severe symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:
…may include burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction. Damage to nerves that supply internal organs may impair digestion, sweating, sexual function, and urination. In the most extreme cases, breathing may become difficult, or organ failure may occur.
This list of hellish possibilities is usually the result of inheritance, disease, or trauma. But in all too many cases, it is the result of having taken Avelox and other fluoroquinolones Levaquin and Cipro. It was found that taking these drugs can double a person’s chances of getting peripheral neuropathy. In recent years, this information has led to more and more patients starting an Avelox lawsuit in order to seek compensation for medical bills.
Johnson & Johnson
J&J may not typically come up in a list of pharmaceutical companies. But they should. In addition to providing baby powder and furniture polish, they also produce Motrin, Tylenol, Benadryl, and others. A few years ago, there was a Motrin recall that you never heard about. Like anything cooked up in a lab, sometimes there are bad batches of medication. It should come as no surprise that faulty medication can kill you. What might surprise you is that Johnson & Johnson is the type of company that will go through great lengths to conceal the fact that they released a bad batch into stores, and tried to secretly buy them back from stores.
Sued by the state of Oregon, Johnson & Johnson was forced to do a real recall. Even after supposedly removing the faulty drugs from the shelves. Regulators still found the defective drugs in stores. While this lawsuit happened a few years ago, it is still important to keep in mind. Drug companies will try to protect their reputation, even if it means leaving known poison on the store shelves for you to buy. Johnson & Johnson is such a company. Remember that the next time you reach for the Motrin.
What You Can Do
To protect yourself from these types of issues, you need to be aware of what is going on with your body when you start a new medication. Ask the doctor about side effects. When something unexpected happens, you need to follow up. That gives the doctor a chance to get you off of a potentially dangerous drug.
Also, don’t hesitate to look up new medications on the internet and find out if it is the subject of a lawsuit. Self education is not an option. It’s a requirement. Share the information with your doctor and give them a chance to research it. They can’t keep up with everything.
Finally, pay attention to recalls and take them very seriously. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from errors is to have open lines of communication with your doctor. The more they know about you, the better they will be at keeping you healthy.