Pharmacy Medication & Prescription Error Lawyers

CALL (800) 863 5312 TO SPEAK WITH PHARMACY ERROR LAWYERS FOR FREE

Many pharmacists at companies like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have reported understaffed and chaotic workplaces where it has become difficult to perform their jobs safely. Pharmacists struggle to conduct various tasks at once, such as filling prescriptions with the correct medication, giving flu shots, tending the drive-through, working the register, calling doctors, and counseling patients. In 2006, The Institute of Medicine estimated that medication errors harmed at least 1.5 million Americans each year.

Pharmacy Error Cases in the News

For Alyssa Watrous, the medication mix-up gave her a pounding headache, nausea, and dizziness. In September, Alyssa Watrous was about to take another asthma pill when she realized CVS had mistakenly given her blood pressure medication intended for someone else.

Edward Walker, 38, ended up in the hospital, his eyes swollen and burning after he put drops in them for five days in November 2018 to treat a mild eye infection. A Walgreens in Illinois had accidentally supplied him with ear drops — not eye drops.

For Mary Scheuerman, 85, the medication error was only discovered when she was dying in a Florida hospital in December 2018. A Publix pharmacy had given her a chemotherapy drug instead of the antidepressant her doctor had prescribed. She died about two weeks later.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication mix-up, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863 5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our pharmacy error attorneys.

COMMON PHARMACY ERRORS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives more than 100,000 U.S. reports each year associated with a suspected medication error. These medication errors may occur when:

Prescribing the Wrong Medication

A pharmacist prescribing the wrong medication is typically caused by incorrect labels, unclear writing, or the misuse of medical terms.

Prescribing the Right Medication, but the Wrong Dosage

Dosage errors may occur when pharmacists improperly convert units, drop zeros, and move decimals, all leading to wrong numbers. Even with the right medication, the wrong dosage may still be harmful.

Failing to Notice Harmful Interaction of Drugs

A pharmacist may fail to detect harmful drug interactions between new and old drugs, causing serious injury in the process. A pharmacist should be aware of the patient’s medication and supplements they are currently taking. Pharmacists should also ask patients about their current drug allergies.

Lack of Verification with Doctor or Patient

A pharmacist should verify the medicine name or dosage with the treating physician. Communication between the pharmacist and the patient is just as important. The pharmacist is also required to instruct the patient about their medication and how to take it. Lack of communication puts the patient at risk, especially when the patient is left unaware of harmful side-effects.

Patient and Medicine Name Mix-ups

Patients with the same name may end up with the wrong medication. Another medication error may occur when two medications look alike or have similar-sounding names. These mistakes are usually caused by a pharmacy’s desire to save time by not double-checking.

WHY DO MEDICATION ERRORS OCCUR?

Reasons medication errors occur may include:

Overworked Pharmacists

A pharmacist’s shift is usually around 12 hours, and within that span, a pharmacist may fill between 300 and 450 prescriptions. The long hours coupled with the pressure to fill so many prescriptions are likely to lead to mistakes.

Lack of Training

Pharmacists and staff should know about various drugs and how they may interact with each other. A lack of training in this area may lead to errors.

Lack of Supervision

Pharmacists should be supervising technicians as they measure, label, and dispense medications.

Poor Communication with Doctors

Requests usually come from a doctor’s office and are written in the doctor’s handwriting, which is not known for being the neatest. Handwriting and oral communication may be misinterpreted and as a result, a patient could find themselves with the wrong medication.

INJURY FROM A MEDICATION ERROR

Injuries from a medication mix-up may include:

  • Life-threatening situations
  • Hospitalization
  • Permanent Disability
  • Birth Defects
  • Death

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ILL BECAUSE OF A PHARMACY ERROR

If you suspect that a pharmacy has given you the wrong prescription for any reason, stop taking the medication immediately. Contact your physician if you have already taken the medication. Call 911 or visit medical emergency services if are experiencing adverse symptoms.

You may also consider contacting an experienced pharmacy error attorney, who may assist you with:

  • Communicating with the pharmacy about the error on your behalf.
  • Collecting documents and other evidence to support your case.
  • Working with laboratory services for evidence on drug content.
  • Obtaining medical expert opinions on the medical issues you’ve suffered because of the error.
  • Investigating what caused the error and whether it has happened in the past.

CONSUMER REPORTING OF MEDICATION ERRORS

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing medication mistakes. Healthcare workers and consumers are encouraged to report medication errors to ISMP with as much detail as possible.

The ISMP analyzes reports of medication errors and the injuries they cause, which are then reported to the manufacturers and dispensing pharmacies. The ISMP also works with government agencies to help identify medication errors, their causes, and ways to eliminate future errors.

It's important to note that reporting a medication error to ISMP is not the same as filing a legal complaint.

WHO CAN I SUE FOR MEDICATION ERRORS?

Individuals who may be held liable for injuries caused by medication errors include:

  • The pharmacist or pharmacy staff member who filled the wrong prescription (and, by association, the pharmacy itself).
  • The doctor who prescribed the incorrect medication or failed to warn the patient about potentially hazardous side effects or drug interactions.
  • Suppliers or manufacturers who allow faulty or harmful drugs into the market.

Medical malpractice occurs when your medical care provider doesn’t use the amount of care that a reasonable professional in similar circumstances ought to use in any given situation. Like doctors and other healthcare providers, pharmacists must complete an extensive education program and meet training requirements before they may assist patients. Because of these professional standards, the law requires pharmacists to practice the same standards of care as doctors.

COMPENSATION FOR PHARMACY ERRORS

Typical damages sought in a pharmacist malpractice suit may include:

  • Compensation for related medical bills
  • Disability
  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Lost wages

In some rare instances, punitive damages may be awarded to deter future conduct and punish the pharmacist for their misconduct.

TRUST THE PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP

At Zinda Law Group, our medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and knowledge that has helped victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from a medication mix-up. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to. 

Our firm also believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee. 

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication mix-up, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863 5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our pharmacy error attorneys. 

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