Monday, June 01, 2009

Another Duragesic Patch Manufacturer Lawsuit

I was actually going to write a precautionary note on the Duragesic Patch when I came across this attorney page and their "class action" lawsuit against the manufacturer.
These have cropped up from time to time and the reason for the lawsuits are always the same... "death due to use" when actually it needs to be "death due to miss-use."
I of course left a comment which I doubt will be approved and published on their site so below you will find the reasons outlined for the lawsuit and my response to them.

Attorney Website:
Duragesic Fentanyl Patch Overdose Lawsuit
May 29, 2009 - Attorney name omitted by my own decision
Filed under Duragesic Pain Patch
The Duragesic patch is a pain management product that actually is capable of delivering a powerful dose of medication to a patient. Unfortunately, even as many patients were using this product it became apparent that an ever increasing number of individuals were experience overdoses of the pain killer contained in the patch – fentanyl – for one of four different reasons. These individuals ended up facing oftentimes life threatening reactions to these overdoses. Moreover, an increasing number of individuals are being identified as having been killed as the result of overdosed associated with the Duragesic patch. Consequently, a growing number of individuals are making the decision to pursue a Duragesic patch overdose lawsuit.

As mentioned a moment ago, when it comes to a Duragesic Fentanyl patch overdose lawsuit, there are four general reasons in which an individual can end up overdosing and experiencing life threatening side effects associated with the product. Of course, as time goes on it very well may become apparent that there are even more groupings of individuals who may be positioned to embark on a Duragesic patch overdose lawsuit.

First, there is what has become a very apparent design defect associated with the Duragesic patch. It is this particular design defect which has led a considerable number of people to the courthouse to file a Duragesic patch overdose lawsuit. Specifically, it has been discovered that the seal on the Duragesic, the seal that is designed to control the flow of the powerful pain medication in the patch, can be found to leak causing an overdosing of a patient.

Second, there is another group of patients who have been forced to pursue a Duragesic patch overdose lawsuit because the instructions associated with the proper use of the patch were deemed unclear. As a consequence, these individuals ended up suffering injury (and in some cases death) as a result of overdoses that occurred as the result of unclear or even improper directions associated with the use of the patch.

Third, another group of individuals have had to pursue a Duragesic Fentanyl patch overdose lawsuit because they improperly were prescribed the patch in the first instance. This has occurred both through the negligence of health care providers combined with unclear patient parameters developed by the manufacturer of the patch.

Finally, health care providers themselves have also found themselves overdosed as the result of coming into contact with the Duragesic patch through the normal course of their work. Yet another apparent design defect associated with the Duragesic patch results in the gel pouch associated with the product itself to be easily damaged – damaged in a manner that might not be reasonably observed by a health care worker. In such a situation, the powerful medication flows from the ruptured patch into that health care worker’s system causing an overdose. This represents yet another group of individuals who have been injured as a result of their contact with the Duragesic patch, a group of individuals who also have found it necessary to pursue a Duragesic patch overdose lawsuit to protect their rights and interests.
My comments to the attorney group concerning the lawsuit and what I am going to send to the FDA and the manufacturer of the patch:

To date, I have been a chronic pain patient for 13 yrs due to a botched back surgery, hospital contracted MRSA that resulted in 8 subsequent back surgeries. I now have chronic osteomyelitis, arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis and a host of other back problems from the multi surgeries and infection.

9 years ago the Duragesic Patch saved my life and sanity. It actually gave me back my quality of life.

Prior to being put on the patch I was on oxycontin and was a drooling vegetable on the couch. I barely ate, I could not function, all I did was sleep and drool. Then I found out that I was going to be a Granny and I did not want my grandchild to have a granny in the state I was in.
On my next appt. with my pain management MD I pulled an almost full bottle of oxycontin out of my purse and told him that I would sit right there and take every pill in the bottle if he did not put me on something that would give me back my life. That is when I first tried the Duragesic Patch.

Within a week I was working in my garden and able to do some house cleaning. I stayed away all day, I was eating again and my back pain was less than on the oxycontin. Of course it took awhile to find the correct dosage but when we finally did I felt like a contributing member of society again not to mention being able to function as a wife and mother.
Duragesic like many other meds has gotten a bad rap because of doctors not prescribing it as directed, it is intended for chronic pain not acute pain, and yes I have known some people who were on it for acute pain.

It has gotten a bad rap because it has been abused by drug addicts. Nursing home workers actually take them off of patients in their care and either use them or sell them.
If you are under the supervision of a qualified MD and use the medication as directed including not allowing yourself to get too hot in the summer and take precautions if you are running a temp., this is the best medication on the market for chronic pain.

I still do and always will have limitations due to the problems with my back, I recognize those and work within them but pain is not one of them because of the patch.

If this medication is taken off of the market due to the abuses of others then the FDA will be doing a huge disservice to those of use who need the medication to function on a daily basis. They could monitor what it is being prescribed for by MDs and use other courses of action but not take it out of the hands of those of us who do not abuse it.

Look what the over prescribing of antibiotics has gotten us into, of which I am also a victim with the MRSA. But no one monitors this, antibiotics are not being taken off the market. We just continue to make products such as "anti-bacterial" hand washes, soaps, sprays, etc. That further exacerbate the problem.

I love my patch and what it has given back to me... my life.

An after thought... if anyone reads the package insert it informs the user of avoiding heat including running a temperature and how to properly dispose of the patch.

Health care workers... according to OSHA should be wearing gloves when they handle the patch.

It IS apparent when there is leakage of the gel insert as you get goo on your skin and the patch will no longer adhere to your body.

Also, anyone on the patch that is not seeing a health care provider (it takes awhile to get the proper dose) needs to assume a level of culpability in the matter.
The package insert is very clear on these counts and many others
End of comment...........

I feel very strongly about this medication primarily because of what it has done for me. I also feel that as a patient I have to read the boring package inserts on my medications especially when it comes to a medication of this strength.

WE as patients have to be our own advocates and take an interest in the medications being prescribed to us or to a family member. If we don't, then we bear a certain amount of responsibility when things go bad (read the post concerning what happened to me yesterday.)

As someone who was in the health care profession for many years, if a medical person is not wearing gloves when they handle the patch or anything that contains easily transferable medication or bodily fluids they are in violation of OSHA regulations. In the case of the patch... they have not read the package insert.
It just chaps my ass when a group of scum sucking attorneys jump all over something like this without taking into account the clientele's responsibility behind the effect. Especially when this medication has done more good for chronic pain patients than harm to a few that are not following the directions, are just ignorant or don't have a family advocate.

1 comment:

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Great information in this post and I think these individuals ended up facing oftentimes life threatening reactions to these overdoses.