A patient relies on his or her doctor to prescribe drugs that are appropriate. Any breach of that trust might constitute negligence on the part of a health care professional. Yet around 20 percent of prescriptions that primary care providers give to senior patients -- those over the age of 65 -- might be inappropriate, according to a recent study. That's bad news for Oregon's seniors, who are more likely than younger patients to be taking several drugs at once. With more drugs comes more exposure to potentially adverse drug interactions.
Drug-induced injuries remain a real threat for patients in Oregon and nationwide. Injuries can result when a person reacts poorly to a certain drug, or when a combination of drugs proves dangerous. Sometimes, a drug might be prescribed before it is safe to do so or before all of its potential side-effects have been tested. A recent example involves a line of birth-control pills sold by pharmaceutical giant Bayer.
Many patients in Oregon rely upon prescription drugs to treat their symptoms. For many, medication may be the primary reason they schedule a visit with their doctors. When a prescription error is made or the wrong dose is administered, however, the result can be tragic.