Our work on painkiller overprescribing cases have made the news and bought in millions of dollars for families of overdose victims. Find out how we can help you.
You may never forget the moment you first learned about a loved one’s overdose death. Loss can be devastating under any circumstances, but this death was sudden, senseless.
NBC News journalist Cynthia McFadden interviewed our client’s family and an Insys Therapeutics whistleblower along with our own Richard J. Hollawell on the debut show of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.
News 4 New York’s I-Team interviewed the family of our client, the late Sarah Fuller, as well as Console & Associates P.C. Partner Richard J. Hollawell.
Of all the unanswered questions you’re facing, one is particularly haunting. How did this happen?
To get real, honest answers, you’ll need on your side a New Jersey overprescribing attorney who won’t back down without finding out the truth. Console & Associates P.C. has handled a number of six- and seven-figure over prescription death cases. We have both the legal experience and the compassion to help your family get through this.
Call (856) 778-5500 for your free, private consultation.
Placing the Blame Where It Belongs: On Over-Prescribing Doctors
With years of experience handling claims involving opiate overdoses, our NJ overprescribing attorneys know a lot about these situations. Let us make one thing clear. A death from a prescription medication overdose is not your loved one’s fault.
It’s not your fault.
When doctors carelessly prescribe medications that lead to an overdose, the blame for your tragic loss falls on them.
You can hold accountable the doctor whose irresponsible prescribing practices stole your loved one from you. In the legal industry, we call this kind of legal action an overprescribing claim. Overprescribing is a form of medical malpractice.
When you pursue a claim, your NJ over prescription lawyers will fight to get you:
- The answers to your questions about what happened to your loved one.
- The compensation your family deserves.
- Justice, with the doctor finally facing the consequences.
Pursuing an over-prescription claim might sound intimidating, especially when you’re still reeling from your loss. Please don’t worry. Our overprescribing lawyers in New Jersey will handle every aspect of the legal claim, and you’ll never be asked to pay any upfront fees to pursue it. The case will never become a burden, financially or otherwise, for your family.
What Is Over Prescription?
Often, the families of overdose victims don,t fully understand what overprescribing means or why it happens. They may have never even heard the phrase, overprescription before all of this happened.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a claim. They need someone who is knowledgeable about medical malpractice law, and about overprescribing cases, in particular, to guide them through the process.
Over Prescription’s Definition
The definition of, overprescribing, is simple. It means prescribing an excessive amount of medications.
But what happens when doctors overprescribe controlled substances is anything but simple.
From Dependence to Overdose
Some medications, like narcotic painkillers, are known to cause physical dependence. Patients can also develop an addiction to these drugs.
Getting over a prescription drug addiction is intensely stressful. When the doctor whose actions caused the problem continues overprescribing narcotics like hydrocodone and oxycodone, the struggle can be even harder.
As patients, tolerance to the medication builds up over time, small doses of the drug may stop being effective. Some painkillers can even cause pain, including serious headaches, when used long-term.
What happens when the prescribed medications no longer work? Some doctors will prescribe higher doses of those drugs or add prescriptions for new drugs, often, on top of what the patient is already taking.
Taking too much of prescription drugs, even on a doctor’s orders, can cause deadly overdoses.
The Most Dangerous Prescription Drugs
Overprescription isn’t restricted to just one type of medication. Doctors can overprescribe even seemingly safe drugs, like antibiotics. But certain medications are much more likely to be dangerous when overprescribed.
The medications most likely to cause life-threatening overdoses when overprescribed include:
- Opioids, a class of painkillers derived from opium that contains codeine, fentanyl (Duragesic and Fentora), hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, and oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet)
- Benzodiazepines, a class of sedatives (sleep aids, anxiety relievers, and seizure medications) that includes alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan)
- Amphetamine-like drugs, stimulants such as dextroamphetamine/amphetamine (Adderall and Adderall XR) and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta)
The Dangers of Over-Prescribing Opiates
Opiate painkillers are the most lethal medicines a doctor can overprescribe. Unfortunately, they’re also among the drugs that doctors overprescribe most often.
Opioids, not just dull pain, the medications can produce what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call, a feeling of euphoria, Opiates can lead to physical dependence as well as addiction. Deadly overdoses happen all too often.
Long-Term Opiate Use
With time, the painkilling effect of opiate medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine may decrease. At the same time, the withdrawal symptoms can worsen.
Continuing to manage pain with opioid medications may mean resorting to higher doses of prescription drugs. The longer opiates are used, and the higher the dose, the more your loved one is at risk for an overdose.
Your Loved One’s Doctors Had Responsibilities
Doctors should be cautious when it comes to upping the doses of opioid medications that can cause addiction and overdose deaths. They should pay close attention to the condition that is causing the pain in the first place. A responsible doctor will treat the medical condition itself, not just throw pain pills at a problem that drugs alone can,t solve.
But too many doctors who prescribe opiates aren’t careful. They fail to monitor the patient or even record such necessary information as vital signs. Instead of ordering tests to determine why the painkillers aren’t working, they just keep adding more drugs to the mix.
Often, these doctors aren’t even trained in pain management. They have no business prescribing opiates long-term.
These physicians could refer their patients to specialists. They could put patients, health in the hands of doctors with the training to determine when controlled substances are necessary and when an alternative approach, like physical therapy, might work better.
But these physicians take it upon themselves to give patients addictive drugs instead of sending them to someone better able to help them. And in doing so, they put their patients, lives at risk.
Your loved one,s fatal overdose may be a direct result of a reckless doctor raising opiate doses without weighing the risks.
If this physician hadn’t dabbled in an unfamiliar branch of medicine, your family member might still be alive today.
Over-Prescription of Drugs in America
Prescription painkiller overdoses are an epidemic in the United States.
To say that the overprescribing medication statistics are startling, or that painkiller overdoses are a troubling trend, is an understatement.
More Americans now die from overdoses of prescription drugs than from overdoses of heroin and cocaine combined, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
In recent decades, the number of opioid drugs prescribed in America has soared. In 1991, doctors across the United States wrote 76 million prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone. That number had climbed to an alarming 207 million prescriptions by 2013, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported.
Today, nearly 19,000 Americans lose their lives every year due to prescription drug overdoses.
When you have lost a family member to opiate overdose, you might feel isolated and alone. But the truth is that we have a serious problem with doctors overprescribing drugs here in America. Tens of thousands of families are suffering devastating losses like the one you’re going through right now.
You shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t take action or seek the truth. The only person who has something to hide is the physician who put your loved one on this deadly path. And we’ll get to the bottom of any information the doctor might be concealing.
How and Why Prescription Medication Overdoses Occur
Too many prescription drug overdose victims are patients who are taking the painkillers as instructed.
They trusted their doctors to tell them how much of the medication they could take safely. But their physicians failed them.
We’ve seen doctors who spent years prescribing their patients increasingly high doses of potent painkillers. Some physicians kept overprescribing painkillers even after patients sought help for an addiction.
There,s no excuse for doctors who overprescribe powerful, addictive, and deadly medications. They know the risks. By choosing to prescribe dangerously high doses, they put your loved one’s life in danger. Now, they deserve to be held responsible.
Why Are So Many Doctors Over Prescribing Medication?
Your loved one suffered an overdose because a trusted doctor told them to take higher doses of medications known to be dangerous.
Their use of the medication and the impact on their physical and mental health should have been monitored rigorously to protect them. But the doctors involved in your loved one’s care failed here, too.
Research suggests that doctors across the United States are overprescribing medicine at frighteningly high rates, NBC News reported. The question is, why?
What drives a doctor who should know better to overprescribe a dangerous drug?
- Carelessness: Some doctors overprescribe pain medication recklessly without considering the consequences. They might not pay attention to the unique facts of the patient’s case. Careless doctors may not mean to cause your loved one harm, but their intentions don’t matter. They still prescribed enough dangerous drugs to take your family member’s life.
- Inexperience: Some doctors take it upon themselves to act as pain management specialists, even when they don,t have the training to do so safely. Ignorance is no excuse. These doctors should refer patients to a physician who is qualified to prescribe the medication safely.
- Lack of time: Most doctors spend just 13 to 16 minutes with each patient, Business Insider reported. Some doctors spend even less time actually seeing their patients. Unfortunately, doctors who are pressed for time may just throw pills at complex medical problems rather than spending the time to figure out how to best help their patient.
- Pharmaceutical industry influence: The pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence on healthcare. But advertising messages shouldn’t control what treatment a patient gets. A doctor who over prescribes painkillers or other drugs to get kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company is in the wrong.
- Ulterior motives: Some doctors who overprescribe drugs have something to gain. By keeping patients on pain medications, they force them to make repeated office visits. This means more money for them. Some doctors have even been charged with running, pill mills, where they sell prescriptions for powerful medications in exchange for cash payments.
As you try to cope with your loss, learning how and why your loved one passed away can be one step toward getting closure. But a negligent doctor won’t just share information about how he or she caused your family member’s death. You will have to fight to get that information and to hold the doctor responsible.
Reporting Over-Prescribing Doctors
When a doctor,s reckless prescribing practices have cost your family member his or her life, you want more than a civil case and the compensation you deserve. You want to truly hold this physician accountable, to make sure that he or she faces the consequences. Even better, you want to make sure this doctor won’t have the chance to hurt anyone else.
But it’s not always easy to report a doctor for overprescribing narcotics or to make sure your report is taken seriously. The New Jersey overprescribing lawyers at Console & Associates P.C. have experience handling these situations. We have filed official complaints with state licensing boards, including the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners.
Our efforts have resulted in license suspensions for some of the physicians caught overprescribing narcotics. We’re continuing to work with the appropriate investigators and agencies to make sure these doctors face all of the consequences they deserve.
Our over prescription attorneys in NJ make this effort, not for any financial gain, we do this as a courtesy to the families we’re already representing, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Compassionate Over-Prescription of Painkiller Lawyers in New Jersey
We know that no amount of money can bring your loved one back. What compensation can do is help you move forward with your life.
The money we get for your family’s overprescribing medication claim can cover the costs of any medical bills and final arrangements that resulted from your loved one’s overdose. If your family member was a financial provider, we could seek compensation for the income your family is missing because of the loss.
Pursuing a claim against the doctor who overprescribed the deadly medications to your family member may be the only way to learn the truth about what caused the overdose death. Throughout the medical malpractice case, the doctor will have to face the consequences of his or her negligence. He or she will finally have to answer the tough questions about the medical decisions that put your family member in danger.
Our Attorneys, Personal Experience with Overdose Deaths
At Console & Associates P.C., we know what you are going through after a family member,s fatal prescription drug overdose. We’ve seen the tragic situation over and over. Our NJ over prescription attorneys has lost personal friends to opiate overdoses. We know your life will never be the same. That’s exactly why we work to help families recover compensation and get justice.
At a time like this, having the support of a whole team behind you can be just as important as having experienced legal representation on your side. With two decades of experience and a 97 percent success rate, our overprescription lawyers in New Jersey have everything you could look for in an overdose attorney.
The Philadelphia Inquirer recently highlighted Console & Associates P.C. partner Richard J. Hollawell’s work on overprescribing pain medication cases.
Our NJ Over-Prescribing Lawyers, Results
We have a history of success handling overprescribing cases. In recent years, we have gotten $4,540,000 for families of prescription overdose victims.
- We recovered a $1,650,000 settlement for the family of a man who passed away because two physicians had overprescribed him opioid painkillers.
- For the family of a man whose primary physician over prescribed excessive controlled substances to treat migraines despite having no neurology or pain management training, we recovered $1,140,000.
- When a doctor based out of the Newark airport over prescribed a quantity of opiates that ultimately led to a fatal overdose, we got his family $925,000.
- We secured $825,000 for the family of a man whose doctor got him addicted to opiate painkillers, ultimately causing him to lose his life.
What Can You Expect an Over-Prescribing Attorney in New Jersey to Do for You?
From day one, we’ll welcome you into our client family and answer your questions in ways that make sense, without the legalese. Many families don’t fully understand legal terminology like, wrongful death. What they do understand is that their deceased loved one deserved better.
Our over prescription lawyers in New Jersey will investigate your loved one’s death. If a careless doctor is responsible for the loss, we will stand up and fight for what your family deserves.
No matter how powerful a doctor may seem, we’ll make sure that justice is served. There is never an excuse for overprescribing dangerous medications.
Call (856) 778-5500 today. The consultation is always free and confidential.