Hospitals Cracking Down on Prescription Misuse

Medication errors, such as overprescribing pain medication to a certain patient, can lead to serious injury and fatal drug overdose.

Misuse of prescription painkillers is a leading cause of death in the United States. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, misuse of prescription painkillers caused 425,000 emergency room visits and 15,000 deaths in 2009.

According to an article by Brooke Hasch, a news anchor for Illinois’ KHQA, prescription drug companies are creating programs designed to educate doctors about best practices for prescribing painkillers.

At many hospitals, it may be too easy for doctors to prescribe painkillers, leading to prescription misuse and possible emergency room negligence. Some hospitals are instituting polices making it more difficult for a doctor to prescribe a painkiller.

Oftentimes, patients come into an emergency room with vague kinds of pain – migraines, ankle sprains and dental pain are just a few, according to Hasch – and ER doctors often prescribe prescription painkillers to these patients. Some of these patients return again and again in search of more painkillers. Patients may be refused by one doctor, only to come back later in hopes of seeing another doctor. The infrastructure may not be in place to prevent doctors from prescribing drugs to these patients.

If you live in Orlando, Florida and have been injured because of medical malpractice, please contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., to schedule a consultation.