pharmacy negligence attorney

How Many New Drugs are Approved Each Year?

Florida Pharmacy LawyerWhen you go to the pharmacy and see all those bottles behind the counter, do you ever wonder how many drugs there are? How many new drugs are introduced to the market? How do they keep track of all those drugs?

You might think that hundreds of new drugs hit the market every years, but actually it’s not that many. In 2016 there were 21 new drugs approved by the FDA. They are called novel drugs.

A Novel Drug or a New Molecular Entity (NME) is an active compound, complex, molecule that previously has not been approved by the FDA/EMA. This is different from a previously approved drug that has received approval for an different but new condition.

The new drugs for 2016 range from treatments for muscular dystrophy and cancer to drugs that help dry-eye syndrome. Click here to see a list of all the new drugs.

How many drugs, in total have been approved by the FDA? That number currently is about 1500 and over-the-counter drugs number about 5000. When you consider that doctors and pharmacists have to aware of all 6500, it’s quite a challenge. These professionals are responsible for understanding the side-effects, the interactions, and also how they may react when mixed with different types of foods and in different environments. Some drugs should never be taken with grapefruit juice, and others should not be taken at high altitudes.

Despite the complexity of the prescription medication industry, these are the responsibilities assumed by pharmacists and physicians. You, as a patient, should keep in mind that sometimes  medical professionals make mistakes and you should do everything you can to make sure you understand. Take a few minutes to ask your doctor about what medications might not mix with your diet. Ask your pharmacist to explain dosage quantities and times if you don’t understand.

Large pharmacy chains are always busy, but you deserve some time to make sure you’re taking medication that will heal you, not hurt you.

Pharmacy Negligence Attorney

Pharmacy errors has been a major part of our work with people across south Florida for over 20 years. We understand drugs uses, interactions, and side-effects and if you think you’ve been the victim of a mistake we might be able to help. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll talk.

Online Pharmacies – Are Savings Worth the Risk?

You May Not Have Recourse for Internet-Purchased Pharmacy Errors

Nearly 60% of all Americans are taking prescription drugs, the highest rate ever according to a Washington Post article citing a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Not everyone has insurance to cover their drugs, and with the rising prices charged by pharmacies, many look to save money online.

online-rx-_Herby__Herbert__Me_largePharmacies and pharmacists are licensed in each state and are also required to have liability insurance. In Florida you can verify the license of any member of the medical community by visiting this website operated by the Florida Department of Health. While this may provide a certain comfort level for patients, it doesn’t guarantee an error-free experience when you visit Walgreens, CVS, or your local family-owned pharmacy. Mistakes still occur.

Doing business with online pharmacies carries a level of risk above and beyond a normal pharmacy. It is not so easy to verify licenses for pharmacies operating online, because many times you won’t have any idea where they are located, or who they really are. Insurance is also a gray area, they may have it, or they may not.

A lot of red flags should go up when thinking about ordering medicine over the internet: Consider that recent studies show that up to 50% of the medications are fake, and don’t even contain the ingredients they are supposed to deliver to a patient. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has found in many instances counterfeit medicine – pills passed off as being from an established pharmaceutical company – don’t even have an active ingredient, or might have ingredients that are dangerous.

Study after study shows that it’s critically important to not only communicate with your physician, but with your pharmacist. Many people in a hurry use the drive-thru to pick up their prescribed medications, but we encourage people to take the time to go inside the building and avail themselves of a short but meaningful discussion with their pharmacist. Ask them to double-check the bottles, the dosages, and ask about any side-effects and interactions with other drugs or foods that you eat.

We also believe that online pharmacy orders are not worth the amount of money you might save, unless the business is thoroughly checked out and you can confirm that they are selling legitimate products.

Understanding the complex issue of prescription errors and pharmacy negligence requires special training and study in some very intricate areas law. Knowledge of the latest, and the older pharmaceuticals is also necessary to advise victims on their rights when it comes to injuries sustained because of prescription mistakes.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has dedicated a major portion of their practice to helping people who are the victims of prescription errors of all types. They have over 20 years of experience advising and defending the rights of victims, and they are always willing to listen to you. Calling 954-356-0006 will connect you with Gary and Arleen Lazarus, south Florida attorneys who truly care about the community and want to help those who have been harmed by others.

“Legal” Overdoses and Injuries from Drug Interactions in Florida

Drug Dealers are not the Only Ones Dispensing Injuries and Death

Almost everyone knows someone who has had an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or both. It is far too common, and despite laws against drunk driving, illegal drugs, and a crackdown on “pill mills” there are still too many overdoses, deaths, and fatal car accidents involving alcohol and drugs.

People always attempt to find a way to get what they want.

Recently in Florida and across the country heroin has risen in popularity, possibly due to the aforementioned closure of the unscrupulous pain medication dispensaries. The drug was detected in 447 fatalities throughout the state in 2014, according to a report released Tuesday by the state’s medical examiners. That’s an all-time high, and more than double the 199 people who had the drug in their bodies when they died in 2013. The deadly surge paralleled that of another drug — fentanyl — which was detected in 538 deaths. That was an 84 percent jump from the 292 fatalities in 2013.

Fortunately Florida just passed and enacted a law to allow the drug naloxone to be sold over-the-counter. Naloxone counters the damage done by opioids like heroin and can save lives.

NOTE TO INSPECTOR:  the commercial and personal identifying info has been reomved on all labels Dozens of prescription medicine bottles in a jumble. This collection of pill bottles is symbolic of the many medications senior adults and chronically ill people take.A tactic used by many drug addicts called “doctor shopping” is where the individual goes from doctor-to-doctor getting multiple prescriptions for their particular pharmaceutical drug of choice. They fill the orders at different pharmacies and thereby skirt the laws intended to prohibit this type of activity. The State of New York just implemented electronic prescribing, which is designed to stop doctor shopping but has both pro and con opinions on whether it will help.

Doctors and pharmacists are committed and bound to follow a standard of care when prescribing or dispensing drugs. For example, if a patient fills a prescription for several hundred strong pain pills, well over the normal dosage, a pharmacy and their employed pharmacists and technicians should be aware there is a problem. Instead, in this day of drive-through pharmacies, the practice goes on and people suffer.

Despite the fact rates of painkiller addiction are lower now than ever, Florida remains the 11th state in terms of the severity of painkiller abuse; moreover, the majority of drug-related deaths that occur in Florida are still caused by benzodiazepines and oxycodone.

We encourage anyone and everyone who is taking prescription medications to do some homework on their own regarding the possible side-effects and interactions with other drugs or food. But that’s not enough. Take the time to speak with every doctor who gives you a prescription. Go inside your pharmacy and speak with the pharmacist. Information and education are the tools to staying well and avoiding drug injuries.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus is committed to help people who have suffered due to errors, carelessness, or negligence on the part of physicians or pharmacists who make mistakes related to prescription medications that hurt victims through no fault of their own.

Dangerous Prescription Drugs

Five Potentially Dangerous Prescription Drugs

Who Can Help When Someone is hurt by Drugs that Were Supposed to Help?

For the better part of our nation’s existence, illnesses and injuries that today would be routinely remedied with a pill or an intravenous drug killed millions of people. Advances in antibiotics particularly have saved countless lives and pain medications have made life more livable for millions of Americans. The pharmaceutical industry is to be commended for their dedication to research and development of products that has produced products that dramatically improve the quality of life for people around the world.

Dangerous Prescription Drugs

Perhaps the inverse of the adage “Every cloud has a silver lining” is true in that every silver lining has a cloud. The advancement and quantity of new drugs has produced a very complex set of effects and side effects where many patients gobble down handfuls of pills every day without really understanding what or why they are doing it.

The following drugs were developed for a specific purpose and are not necessarily dangerous if taken as prescribed. They do have the potential – as does any drug – to harm a patient if they are not taken exactly as prescribed or if they interact with other medications, chemicals, or foods that may produce negative side-effects.

  1. Prednisone or Cortisone – It is not recommended to take this drug for a period longer than two weeks. While it is a fantastic short term product for things such as poison ivy treatment, it has significant side effects, which differ depending on how the drug is taken.
  2. Methotrexate is a chemotherapeutic drug, which means that it is actually a poison. It is used mainly in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, often at the same time as cortisone drugs, which has the potential to be lethal particularly with long term use. Methotrexate is prescribed to a significant number of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  3. Warfarin is a blood thinner, which may be needed to treat people with certain blood disorders. However, it is so potent that there have actually been incidents of people bleeding to death after suffering from a slight fall or razor cut. Additionally, warfarin may cause a weakening of blood vessels over time. The drug is often prescribed to treat people who are at risk of heart attacks or strokes.
  4. Diuretics are prescribed to make kidneys function better, and there are a number of low level diuretics that can be purchased over the counter. Essentially, they help the body to excrete excess water, providing very rapid relief. They are often prescribed to people who have cardiac problems and the reality is that diuretics are life-saving drugs. However, they also have significant side effects, particularly on the long term.
  5. Proscar is prescribed to men to treat enlarge prostate glands and also for hair-loss. Some 40,000 men a year lose their life to this form of cancer, and those numbers are rising. In fact, when a man reaches the age of 70, it is highly likely that he will have at least some cancerous cells found on the prostate, although this does not necessarily always lead to prostate cancer. The effectiveness of Proscar remains in question.

Pharmacy Errors – Most people over the age of 50 remember the days of the corner drug store when you knew your pharmacist by his or her first name, and your pharmacist knew the names of your kids. Today’s local pharmacies are busy mega-stores with drive-thru windows and are owned by large national corporations. The personal service seems to be gone, and high-volume of work assigned each pharmacist may be contributing to a rising rate of errors in dosage, labeling, and even the wrong pills being placed in prescription bottles.

The Right Help – The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been helping victims of pharmacy errors and other drug injuries for over 20 years. If you have had a problem with your prescription drugs, Gary and Arleen Lazarus are qualified to investigate your situation and then recommend the best course of action. Please contact them at 954-356-0006.