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How to Tell if A Doctor Is Overprescribing Medication

Nichol & Associates, Attorneys at Law Aug. 10, 2020

Tennessee residents who regularly visit the doctor may have come across at least a doctor who seemed to overprescribe medications. Overprescribing a medication can be hazardous to one’s health and even life-threatening. Thus, it is important for patients to speak up and ask questions about their medications.

One sign that a doctor may be giving out too many prescriptions is if he or she appears to have an established connection with one or more pharmaceutical representatives. Pharmaceutical representatives – who push brand-name drugs that cost more than generics – try to meet with doctors to encourage them to prescribe their product; they will even give doctors samples of the drug to hand out. A doctor who provides name brand samples to a patient may have good intentions, but the doctor may not be making the best decision about which drug to prescribe (or whether a drug is even needed).

Patients should also be wary of the prescriptions a doctor prescribes if the doctor did not ask them about nonprescription drugs or supplements that the patient is taking. A doctor who is quick to hand out a prescription medicine likely is not thinking about the potential interactions between the medication and the supplements or about how the nonprescription drugs or supplements could impact the efficacy of the prescription medication.

Doctors who overprescribe might give patients medications for any little symptom or for symptoms that do not necessarily warrant that particular medication. An example of this is prescribing antibiotics for a cold, which does not respond to antibiotics. A doctor who does this could cause a patient to become resistant to antibiotics or to experience side effects that are worse than the initial symptoms. Individuals with long-lasting or severe side effects from a prescription medication may want to consult with a medical malpractice attorney.