Parents with children suffering from attention–deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often desperate to help their children in any way possible. Many times both the parents and the children are at their wits–end as their numerous efforts to control the condition have failed and this only serves to add to the family’s frustration. Parents may seek the expert medical counsel of a licensed physician when all of their efforts to help their child have been unsuccessful. Doctors may supply parents with prescription ADHD drug samples that they can “try out” free of charge. However, when doctors give parents prescription ADHD drug samples they often fail to furnish parents with the patient information insert that should accompany the medication. The patient information insert provides parents with important information regarding the safety and potential side effects of the medication. By failing to adequately warn parents of important safety issues and possible side effects, the doctor may be committing medical malpractice.
According to a poll conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, approximately 80 percent of individuals in the U.S. have received a free prescription drug sample from their doctor.
A report issued in October 2008 in the Journal of Pediatrics goes on to further state that 1 out of every 10 children currently taking a prescription medication received a free prescription drug sample. What is most alarming is that prescription ADHD drug samples are often given to a child without the child having an accurate or confirmed diagnosis of ADHD. In some cases, children are given prescription ADHD drug samples based on the doctor’s observation of the child’s behavior. In some cases, a correct diagnosis is not ensured before the prescription ADHD drug sample is given to the child. When doctors fail to properly diagnose and treat an individual’s medical condition, the doctor may be held liable for medical malpractice.
It is the opinion of some in the medical field that children taking ADHD medications may not even have ADHD or only have mild symptoms that do not require medication. Parents should make certain that their doctor has conducted adequate testing to ensure a proper diagnosis before giving their children prescription ADHD medication. If a child is injured due to their ingestion of prescription ADHD drug samples, parents may have the legal grounds necessary to file a medical malpractice claim against their licensed health care provider. This is especially true if the doctor furnishing the free sample failed to provide the parent with important safety and side effect information. Additionally, if a doctor fails to properly diagnose or misdiagnoses a child’s medical condition and the child’s health and wellness suffers as a result, medical malpractice may have occurred. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to monetary compensation for their medical expenses as well as their pain and suffering.