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Louisiana medical malpractice: Is your medication correct?

According to a Brown University study of approximately six million senior citizens on Medicare, Alexandria, Louisiana is the number one city in America for prescribing medications to senior citizens that are considered to be "high risk" drugs. As a matter of fact, patients that live in the south are far more likely than patients in New England to be prescribed these high risk medications. It is not entirely clear why this is the case, but there is the possibility that medical malpractice could be a reason.

Even if a doctor has a patient's best interest at heart, it is possible that the doctor may incorrectly prescribe a medication to that patient. The Food and Drug Administration cautions patients about blindly taking medication just because it was prescribed to them. Even if it is properly prescribed, it is also possible that the prescription can be improperly filled at a pharmacy.

Patients are encouraged to learn as much as they can about the medications they are being prescribed. Patients shouldn't be afraid to ask questions of either their doctor or pharmacist. Sometimes the appearance of a medication is changed by the pharmaceutical company that manufactures it. If a patient finds the appearance of his or her medication has changed, it wouldn't hurt to double check to ensure they are getting the right pills.

As a general rule, patients are programmed to trust that doctors and other medical professionals know what they are doing. This may be the case the majority of the time, but mistakes do happen; and sometimes, people die because of it. Anyone in Louisiana that believes he or she suffered an injury or a family believes a loved one died as a result of an incorrectly prescribed medication may benefit from filing a medical malpractice claim against the physician that improperly prescribed the medication.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "How do you know you're being prescribed the right medicine?" Daryl Nelson, April 15, 2013