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The State of New Jersey filed a complaint against a South Jersey doctor, alleging professional misconduct and gross negligence. According to the State, the doctor indiscriminately prescribed a spray form of the highly addictive painkiller fentanyl to three patients, one of whom passed away as a result. The drug, Subsys, is designed for cancer patients with uncontrollable pain who have developed a tolerance to around-the-clock opioid therapy. Physicians who prescribe the drug are required to sign a document acknowledging that it is only to be used for cancer patients.
The doctor signed an agreement with the state Board of Medical Examiners, promising not to accept new patients, and to stop writing prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances. The suspension is slated to last until the state’s disciplinary and licensing board can hold a hearing and make a ruling. According to Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino, physicians who abuse their power to prescribe controlled dangerous substances fuel the growing opioid and prescription drug problem that is ravaging our nation.
One patient suffered from chronic pain, diabetes, and fibromyalgia, but also had a history of substance abuse. According to the complaint, the doctor failed to warn her of its side effects and risks. The patient passed away after taking the drug for 14 months. Significant levels of fentanyl metabolites were found in her blood.
Anyone involved in the prescribing of medication can be held liable in court for complications that come from a prescription drug error, including nurses, hospitals, and pharmacists.
Medical professionals have a duty to advise patients of common side effects of medications, as well as whatever foods or drugs patients should avoid while taking the medication. Failing to warn a patient of these side effects can constitute as medical malpractice. Even though medical professionals are obligated to share this information, they often do not do it properly, or forget altogether. Remember to ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medication’s side effects.
Prescription drug errors can range from minimal harm to fatalities, depending on the nature of the error. If you suspect that your physician or pharmacist has made an error, obtain medical advice immediately. Then, contact an experienced lawyer to preserve your claims. Call the Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. at 856-354-9444 or complete our online contact form today. We serve clients across Camden County, South Jersey and throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.