Tainted medications and medical malpractice

Healthcare professionals in Pennsylvania may not be held strictly liable when drugs or medical devices cause injuries. However, this is not the same as saying that doctors or hospitals cannot be held liable whatsoever. It just means that the attorney for the injured party will have to prove up their claim that the medical provider was at least in part responsible for the injury.

The reason why this is important is because of a whole slew of cases that have come about recently involving injury to patients because tainted medications have been prescribed. The most notorious of those cases came about because of a compounding pharmacy distributed medications that led to a meningitis outbreak that has been claimed to have sickened 700 individuals and cause the death of 45 people.

Yet rather than just go after pharmaceutical companies, doctors are also increasingly being implicated in these sorts of lawsuits. For example, a doctor has been held 40 percent responsible regarding a $5.5 million verdict where a woman was injured by a vaginal-mesh implant. In still another case, a doctor settled out a matter for $3.7 million after a doctor prescribed a fentanyl patch for a patient, and the patient later died due to an adverse reaction to the patch.

What medical malpractice attorneys look for in these sorts of matters was whether the physician could have prevented the injury from occurring in some manner. Some doctors prescribe medications or devices in good faith. However, others fail to monitor the condition of a patient after prescribing a medication or else did not take steps to familiarize themselves with the medication before prescribing it.

Every case has its own set of facts, and attorneys will have to examine each case individually to determine if malpractice did occur.

Source: amednews.com, “Physicians entangled in tainted drugs lawsuits,” by Alicia Gallegos, Feb. 11, 2013