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Ignoring medication inserts may constitute medical malpractice

The vast majority of physicians may tend to ignore the package inserts that come with prescription medication. While they may seem to be provided as a legal protection for pharmaceutical companies, one professional advises that providers pay close attention to these inserts to prevent medical malpractice. South Carolina residents may benefit from paying attention to these leaflets as well.

One professor, who is also a physician at a medical school, urges all providers to review these inserts before prescribing medications to their patients. He has been an expert witness for malpractice cases and can recite cases where the inserts were disregarded to the detriment of the patient. These inserts are co-written by clinicians from pharmaceutical companies and representatives from the Food and Drug Administration. It is one of the rare times when government agencies and pharmaceutical companies work together to advance the well-being of the public.

The professor used two cases to illustrate the importance of these inserts. One involved a 6-year-old child who was prescribed a medication for his ADHD. Over time, his doctor increased the dosage based on the child's response to it. Sadly, the child suffered from an overdose that led to heart complications that caused his death. The insert specifically stated the maximum dosage and recommended an EKG before administration. 

The second example involved an 18-year-old who was prescribed a medication for depression and anxiety. The insurance company required a substitute medication that was not to be used when a patient was suffering from dehydration, which this patient had at the time. After 11 days, the patient slipped into a coma and now remains in a comatose state. South Carolina residents who have suffered harm from a medication or any other medical care may have a basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to recoup their damages.

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