Is the Over-Prescription of Antibiotics Putting Patients at Risk?

When patients are sick, they just want to feel better and many times that means taking medication. Unfortunately, medication isn’t always in the patient’s best interest. For instance, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that rampant overuse of antibiotics is leading to the creation of deadly superbugs.

As this article explains, antibiotics are not, in and of themselves, the problem; it is the overuse of antibiotics that is the problem. The CDC report indicates that 36 percent of patients in the study were prescribed antibiotic vancomycin when proper treatment could have included additional medical testing and the avoidance of antibiotics, and that two-fifth of the patients with urinary-tract infections were treated with antibiotics, suggesting that these drugs were also being overused for this condition.

The article goes on to state that overuse of antibiotics can lead to the creation of superbugs that are resistant to various antibiotics, causing patients to become more vulnerable to contracting other types of infections. The CDC report suggested that Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection, is also on the rise due to the over-prescription of antibiotics. Currently, Clostridium difficile infections – a type of sepsis that is potentially fatal – affect close to 250,000 hospitalized patients every year.

“We have to protect patients by protecting antibiotics. The drugs we have today are endangered and any new drugs could be lost just as quickly,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said.

In some cases, unnecessary medications and overuse of medications may amount of pharmaceutical malpractice. Other common types of medical malpractice involving drugs include medication errors, adverse drug reactions, and drug interactions. In fact, medication errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice, with more than 1.5 million people injured each year as a result of errors made in prescribing, administering, and monitoring prescription drugs and other medications, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine. Not only do medication errors cause injuries and even death, but they also cost an estimated additional $3.5 billion in medical expenses each year. Medication errors can involve prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and can also include contamination and compounding errors.

Contact a Pharmaceutical Malpractice Lawyer

The Chicago pharmaceutical error attorneys at Cogan & Power have significant experience representing the victims of medical malpractice, including a wide variety of pharmaceutical errors, medication errors, and unnecessary medication. We pride ourselves on providing each of our clients with personalized client service and attention, comprehensive legal advice, considerate legal representation, and skilled legal advocacy. Moreover, we strive to protect other patients from potential medical malpractice by holding hospitals and physicians accountable for their actions and inaction. We take a holistic, collaborative approach to legal representation, drawing from the diverse backgrounds of our attorneys and investing ourselves in the overall well-being of our clients.

Contact our office today at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys to discuss your pharmaceutical error case.