Menu
Click Here To Call Now

Pittsburgh: 412-906-8102

Toll Free: 800-440-5297

Prescription pill abuse in Pennsylvania is a growing crisis

With recent reports of drug overdoses in the news, such as the heroin-related death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, most Americans are aware of the dangers of so-called “street” drugs.  But many heroin addicts actually started down the road to illegal drugs through legal prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet.  Pennsylvania medical leaders and the legislature are hoping to bring awareness to this problem in order to avoid the over-prescribing of such drugs and related medication errors.

According to a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug poisoning is the number one cause of death in Pennsylvania. That even exceeds the number of fatalities in car accidents. Nationwide, the CDC estimates 100 deaths each day are caused by drug overdoses.

While the individual may make the ultimate decision to abuse a prescription drug, physicians sometimes make it much easier for them. Organizations that govern physicians’ professions are calling on doctors to do more to decrease drug abuse. The state House has approved a measure designed to address this.

The statewide database approved by the House is now under consideration in the Senate. The database would require pharmacies to report any prescriptions for controlled substances that they fill.  By having the patient and doctor names, along with other information, the database could tell how often a single physician prescribes a drug to one patient, as well as monitor patient efforts at “doctor shopping,” i.e., going to several different doctors or pharmacies to get multiple prescriptions for the same medications. The database could prevent a fatal medication error caused by having two prescriptions of one drug at the same time.

While most medical professionals would not knowingly overprescribe a controlled substance, it is incumbent upon doctors to prescribe medications responsibly. Failure to do so could result in a medical malpractice claim against a negligent physician whose patient suffers harm as a result. Whether the patient overdoses or harms someone else while under the influence of a prescribed drug, the physician may be held responsible if drugs were prescribed negligently.

Source: The Mercury, “Doctors: Pill abuse a ‘crisis’ in Pa.,” Carl Hessler, Jr., March 10, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
How can We Help?

How Can We Help? Contact Our Office Today At 800-440-5297 Or Fill Out The Form Below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Rosen Louik & Perry, P.C.
437 Grant Street Suite 200, The Frick Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-906-8102
Fax: 412-281-2997
Pittsburgh Law Office Map

There is NO FEE unless recovery is made.

Rosen Louik Perry, P.C. Pittsburgh
412-906-8102 CaringLawyers.com 1-800-243-5297