Doctors Pushing Pain Pills

The over-prescription of powerful painkillers is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing areas of physician liability as unscrupulous physicians elevate patient retention, and therefore, profits, over the well-being of patients with chronic pain or long-term injuries.  While there is significant concern over the thousands of patients  who become addicted to these medications each year, the potential liability for these physicians can often extend well beyond addiction, as many patients also suffer permanent injuries or even death as the result of over-prescription.  Sadly, it is not altogether for some physicians to prescribe patients with shockingly high quantities of pain medications in combination with one, two, three or even four other types of other pain medications, often at the maximum dosage.  For example, in some instances, these doctors might prescribe a patient with Oxycontin along with prescriptions for Oxycodone, Flexeril (a muscle relaxer), and Neurontin.  By prescribing hundreds of pills at a time and directing patients to take the maximum dosage for these pills, these doctors time the consumption of pills precisely to the date of the patient's next visit and then repeat the process the next month.  As a result, these physicians can charge tens of thousands of dollars to their patients and the patients often become addicted in a matter of months.  

Perhaps more worrisome is the physical effect that overprescribing is having on patients.  These individuals are often drowsy, forgetful, agitated easily and unable to make clear, rationale decisions.  In short, their judgment and reflexes become impaired.   Additionally, some patients are known to have experienced respiratory compromise as the result of over-medication.  No one thinks that these doctors are trying to harm or kill patients, however, injuries and death are occurring as the necessary byproduct of these overprescrptions.  As mentioned, some patients become addicted and require repeated rehabilitation efforts.  Patients who have existing cardiovascular or cardiopulmonary conditions are known to have suffered heart arrhythmias, brain damage or even death after going into respiratory arrest.  These types of injuries can easily be prevented by the responsible prescription and distribution of the proper number and dosage of power pain medications.

At STSW, our attorneys have successfully handled a number of cases involving the over-prescription of pain medications and/or the prescription of pain medications that are known to adversely interact with other medications patients are taking.  In these cases, our lawyers have pursued not only the doctors who prescribed these medications in a reckless fashion but also the pharmacies that negligently dispense them.  If you or a loved on has been injured as the result of this type of negligence, call our team for a free consultation.  410-385-2225.