For many people, prescription medication is a normal part of their daily routine. According to the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University, more than 131 million people across the United States use prescription drugs—amounting to 66 percent of all adults in the country.

While we trust that our medication is safe and effective, patients have suffered injuries while taking prescription drugs. These adverse drug events can be extremely painful, and if you have experienced an injury while taking medication, you may quality for financial compensation.

The 4 Classifications of Adverse Drug Events | Kansas City Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Types of Adverse Drug Events

An adverse drug event occurs when a patient experiences an injury because of a prescription medication. These injuries sometimes occur due to interactions with other medications, while others are the result of negligence by a doctor or another medical professional. Adverse drug events typically fall into four categories: potential, non-preventable, ameliorable, and preventable.


A potential adverse drug event occurs when a medication error is caught and resolved before a patient takes the drug. As a result, the patient does not experience harm or any long-term complications due to the error.


A non-preventable adverse drug event happens when a healthcare professional correctly prescribes and administers a medication to a patient. However, the patient experiences side effects of the medication, such as discomfort or nausea.


During an ameliorable adverse drug event, a patient receives a medication and experiences a reaction that is harmful, but not dangerous. However, the harm that the patient experienced was not completely preventable.


The most dangerous adverse drug event is a preventable one. A preventable adverse drug event occurs when a doctor prescribes a drug, which has serious side effects to a patient. The error is determined to be clinically preventable, and results in injury, long-term health effects, or death.

Preventable adverse drug events often occur due to the negligence of a healthcare professional. For example, a doctor may prescribe too much of a medication, leading to an overdose. A pharmacist may fail to properly assess a patient’s prescriptions and dispense medications that interact dangerously with each other.

Filing a Lawsuit After an Adverse Drug Event

If you have experienced an injury due to a preventable adverse drug event, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to uphold the medical standard of care, causing harm to a patient. Because preventable events often occur due to the negligence of a medical professional, injured patients often qualify for litigation against the at-fault provider.

Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you sustained due to the error. Common types of damages available in these claims include the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Disability accommodations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Permanent disability
  • Chronic pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life

If you believe that you qualify for an adverse drug event claim, speak to a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney. Our lawyers can guide you through the litigation process and help you hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries. 

Robert Norfleet
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, car accident, wrongful death and personal injury clients.