Nevada Bill Would Let Doctors, Drug Makers be Sued for Prescription Drug Addiction

A bill introduced by a Nevada state senator would allow patients addicted to prescription drugs to sue the physicians who prescribed the drugs, as well as the products’ manufacturers. The measure is strongly opposed, according to the Associated Press.

State Senator Tick Segerblom of Las Vegas said doctors who prescribe drugs with the potential for addiction “know the person can get addicted to the drug so they should pay for the process of them getting off it.”

Many people who attended the legislative hearing where the bill was discussed on Wednesday criticized the measure, the AP reports.”This bill ties the hands of physicians and takes away the rights of patients to choose which risk to assume while seeking treatment for their diseases,” said David Johnson, a Las Vegas physician. “Yes, some drugs may be addictive, but that may be the less important issue when fighting the disease or symptom.” He added, “Everything in medicine has a risk. Most often the good effects outweigh the bad, but we don’t know which patient will have a bad side effect.”

The bill would make anyone licensed to prescribe drugs, as well as the drug’s manufacturer, liable for civil action if a patient becomes addicted or experiences injury resulting from an addiction to the drug. If the patient won a lawsuit, the defendants would have to pay for their rehabilitation, along with possible punitive damages and lawyers’ fees.

Under the measure, if the state creates medical marijuana dispensaries, the businesses could be liable if a user becomes addicted to the drug.