A $3 million malpractice suit against a doctor at a family practice center has been filed in another state. This case may interest Denver readers because it illustrates what can happen when doctors make medication errors. The petitioner claims that the defendants prescribed Proscar, a brand name for finasteride, in order to treat symptoms of male pattern baldness. The drug has apparently not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in this way. He also claims that he was prescribed 500 percent more than the recommended amount, and that the prescription was renewed 13 times over 13 months.
A doctor and a physician’s assistant are both named in the suit. They are charged with administering medication incorrectly resulting in permanent physical and mental injury to the patient. To compensate for both non-economic damages and medical treatment — both past and future — the patient is seeking $3 million.
A negligent physician can cause serious injury to a patient by administering an incorrect drug or an improper amount of a drug. As was apparently experienced by the man in this case, these errors can result in serious complications. In extreme cases, death may be a result.
There needs to be trust between doctor and patient, but that trust can be shattered when a doctor prescribes medication that is not approved for the use it is being prescribed for or has known side effects that the patient was not informed of. Patients need to be fully informed about the history and potential side effects of any medicine that they are prescribed. Those who have been the victims of medication errors may find it helpful to seek professional legal advice to understand their options.
Source: Herald and News, “Klamath doctor facing malpractice lawsuit over prescribed drug,” Shelby King, Oct. 3, 2012