Roughly 40,000 people are killed in Illinois and throughout America each year from medication side effects. While the U.S Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) collects data on side effects, that data may be flawed. For example, there were some reports of side effects that were reported more than once while an actual illness or disease was listed as a side effect.
Another issue is that a single drug may have both a formal name and a brand name, but the database does not take this into account. Researchers believe that some of these issues can be alleviated by cleaning the data to make it more precise. Many scientists still believe that a database like FAERS is invaluable, but that it should not be used on its own to come to conclusions about a drug's potential side effects.
If a doctor prescribes an improper medication or prescribes the wrong dose, this could constitute malpractice. It may also be possible for a patient to file a malpractice lawsuit if a doctor knew or should have known that a drug had potential dangerous side effects and failed to disclose them. Those who are harmed by medication errors may be able to collect compensation for their medical bills and other costs.
An attorney may be able to establish that a doctor committed malpractice through asking questions during a deposition or at trial. The patient may also be able to talk more about what was or wasn't discussed before a drug was prescribed. In some cases, a doctor may admit that a patient was not given informed consent because he or she felt like any information withheld wasn't relevant. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that a patient is not entitled to compensation for the doctor's error.