I appreciate your enthusiasm but there is a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" component to this issue. Many patients still take warfarin daily, getting labs monthly despite "better" medications now available, many patients are still taking ASA daily instead of Plavix (despite generic Plavix being very affordable), I could go on but the point is, despite what you might think, medical malpractice would be near impossible for a medication that has only been on the market a month. Many many physicians have a personal rule about using a med that has not been out in the real world for, at least, a year, due to unforeseen SEs being detected. Watch what the experts are doing & saying, that's what the general internists are going to do.
The answer to the question you asked is yes. If you expose a patient to an unreasonable risk and he or she is casually damaged you are liable for the damages. The plaintiff does not need to prove this to a certainty, just get an expert opinion and convince a jury or judge that "probably." If there are no damages you can still be disciplined by the medical board. You, also, must disclose the risks of treatment and alternatives to the patient.
Neither Vascepa or Lovaza have yet shown in a clinical outcome trial with US patients ....to reduce " events "
There are a lot of moving parts for CAD ( coronary artery disease ) patients ( of which I am one ).... LDL , HDL, TG, HsCrp , ApoB , LaPlaz 2 levels etc as well as glucose levels and blood pressure levels .
IMHO it would be very hard to link the cause of a heart attack to simply using Lovaza instead of Vascepa even though Vascepa is obviously a better drug , because of it's positive effect on risk markers ......LDL cholesterol levels are a risk marker but not everyone with high LDL levels has a heart attack
Lovaza is approved for triglycerides over 500. No malpractice there.
There is the issue though of a doctor wanting to do what is best for the patient however.
Please realize that with some people, if Lovaza is working well and trigs are markedly improved and no side effects noted in he 5 years on the meds, the doctor may review the advantages to Vascepa but not push for the change.
As soon as the doctor pushes too hard to a patient who likes the meds they are on, it never fails. The patient will pick up the stomach flu or get a migraine or something else completely not related to the switch to Vascepa and blame it on the new product. Just saying. Ask any doctor and they will tell you their war stories.
No...you couldn't even get that in the court room. But you'd be a complete idiot not to do the right thing for your patient, LDL is the focus on reducing CV events...Lovaza raises it, Vascepa doesn't. Comparing Vascepa to Lovaza is like comparing silver to gold.