When you get a medication prescription from the doctor and have it filled at your local pharmacy, you probably trust the pharmacy staff to do their jobs accurately. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is estimated that 1.3 million people are injured by medication mistakes in the United States every year. While some of these errors are minor and do not cause harm to the patient, others result in hospitalization and death. If you or a loved one were the victim of a pharmacy error, a medical malpractice claim may help you recover compensation.
Common Pharmacy Errors
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the medications that their doctors have prescribed them. In addition to dispensing medications, they also review prescriptions for accuracy, check for drug interactions, and explain medication directions to patients. When a pharmacy worker makes a mistake during any of these steps, the patient can suffer serious harm. Some of the most common pharmacy errors include:
- Dispensing the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage of the medication
- Mislabeling medications
- Dispensing medication with an incorrect delivery method
- Failing to provide adequate information about the use of medication
- Failing to warn the patient about side effects or risks of using the medication
- Failing to account for potential drug interactions with other medications or allergies
- Failing to ask about other medications or allergies before dispensing the medication
- Failing to confirm prescription information with the physician if the prescription is difficult to read or contains inaccurate information
Consequences of Prescription Medication Errors
If a person receives the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication, he or she may not realize it until he or she starts experiencing symptoms. Depending on the type of medication and the person’s medical conditions, a medication error can cause the person’s existing medical condition to worsen and may also result in new medical problems. A serious medication error may even be fatal. Pharmacy prescription errors can result in problems that require hospitalization and extensive medical care. Through a pharmacy malpractice claim, a medication error victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her medical expenses, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and more....