The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a series of clinical studies and testing before releasing a new drug to the public.
Physicians must consider the consequences of prescribing certain drugs. Patients could face damaging results and physicians could face malpractice lawsuits.
Risks versus benefits
The Journal of the American Medical Association released a 2017 study showing that between 2001 and 2010, unidentified side effects went along with almost one-third of FDA-approved drugs. The FDA requires that warnings accompany patient information about a drug, but only if the risks are greater than the benefits will the agency pull a drug off the market.
Most problematic drugs
Diabetes drugs can produce cardiovascular issues, including heart attacks. Although doctors have prescribed antidepressants for years, their use is frequently linked to suicide and birth defects. Along with side effects such as kidney failure and death, blood thinners can also result in heart attacks and type 2 diabetes. In addition, certain powerful antibiotics prescribed to treat bacterial infections can exacerbate existing heart problems.
The mislabeling of a drug as well as the serious side effects a patient might experience from taking the drug are two of the most common reasons for lawsuits. While a patient harmed can sue the drug manufacturer, other questions arise. For example, was the prescribing physician at fault, or the hospital or the nurse who administered the drug? A physician must face the possibility of a misdiagnosis that resulted in the wrong prescription that made the patient’s condition worse. A simple mistake can cause extremely serious consequences or death.