A drug shortage occurs when:
- Few suppliers, if any, have stock of the drug
- A certain drug has been discontinued
- A certain drug has distribution restrictions
- The drug is not available in its desired form (e.g., capsules vs. syrups vs. injectables)
- Shortage of a drug that has no alternative
You’ll know if there is a severe shortage of a drug if it appears on the “No Commercially Available Drug Preparations” list. If the drug is not available, then it is placed on the “Drugs No Longer Available” list.
What’s debilitating about this drug crisis is that several associated medical malpractice issues can occur. People don’t often consider the ramifications of these issues until it’s too late.
Perhaps the most common medical error that occurs because of drug shortages are prescription drug errors, which occur when a doctor or pharmacist administers:
- The incorrect drug
- The incorrect drug substitutes
- The incorrect dose of the drug
- A drug that a patient is allergic to
- A drug that interacts adversely with other medications the patient is taking
- A drug that interacts adversely with the other healthcare conditions that the patient has
Other ways that doctors and pharmacists can make prescription drug errors include:
- Mislabeling drugs
- Failing to warn patients about the side-effects of the drug
The drug shortage crisis increases the probability of these errors occurring, as doctors and pharmacists are forced to find drug alternatives that don’t always exist and which they aren’t entirely familiar with.
Because there is a lack of knowledge over doctor errors related to prescription drugs and how the drug shortage is exacerbating these errors, you may not realize that you have suffered medical malpractice at first. However, just because drug prescription errors don’t happen as often as other types of medical malpractice doesn’t mean that they don’t happen at all.
If you are unsure, then you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer who can tell you whether you have a valid claim or not and then assist you with the process that follows. Choosing to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit is not a decision to be taken likely, and you need to be sure that you have a strong case and have enough evidence to win.
If you live in NYC, you should contact an NYC medical malpractice attorney who understands the medical malpractice laws and the statute of limitations specific to the state to represent you and assist with your case.
If you have read this article and think that you might have been a victim of a doctor error, there is help for you. To get a better understanding of whether medical malpractice did occur, you can speak to the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC.
You can have a free, confidential consultation by contacting one of our medical malpractice attorneys on (212) 697-9280 today.