Medical malpractice attorneys came across a report released this month that says that, as of 2008, prescription painkillers surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death among Americans. The report is based on research conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2008, 41,000 Americans died from drug poisoning, a 90 percent increase over the last ten years. Additionally, doctors say that the number of annual emergency room visits for prescription painkiller use have doubled in the last five years to nearly 500,000 with nearly 12 million American teenagers and adults who are using prescription painkillers to get high.
Commonly used painkillers include OxyContin and Vicodin, drugs that have a rate of addiction. Patients addicted to these drugs often experience an increased level of pain with minor aches and will experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety and lethargy. Experts say that the problem with prescription painkillers has worsened in recent years due to a lack of regulation and a thriving black market in the U.S. They recommend additional education to doctors and patients about prescription painkillers, their use and how patients taking the drugs should manage them.
Many pharmaceutical companies have faced recent legal issues regarding the questionable conduct in marketing drugs to consumers and physicians. However, some states have taken individual steps to monitor prescription drug use among patients. Several insurers now require an explanation of why a physician has prescribed more than a 30-day supply of some drugs. There are also about 40 states who have other systems in place to track patients and prescription painkillers they have been prescribed.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical malpractice cases involving pharmaceutical and drug product injuries. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts are dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of prescription painkillers or any other type of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.