Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog

Earlier this month in Edmonton, Canada, a family with a child almost lost him to a morphine overdose that was caused by a pharmacist making an error in the prescription given to the young child. According to one local news report, the baby was prescribed a very low dose of morphine by the family’s doctor. However, when the family took the prescription to get filled, it was filled at a much larger dose.

hipocondraco-ii-349987-mWhen the young child’s grandmother began to give him the medication, she noticed that after about three suckles of it he began to drool. His eyes rolled back into his head, and both of his arms went limp. The family called 911, and the baby was taken to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, emergency workers confirmed that the child had suffered an overdose of morphine. As it turns out, the compound provided to the child by the filling pharmacy was 100 times more potent than prescribed.

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Earlier this year in Lincoln County, Kentucky, a father filed a wrongful death suit against a local CVS pharmacy for their alleged involvement in his son’s death. According to one local news source, the lawsuit filed by the man names the CVS in Danville, Kentucky as well as several employees in the store.

pills-vitamins-534531-mEvidently, the man’s son was admitted to the hospital for a pulmonary embolism and upon his discharge was prescribed several medications by his physician. After his discharge, he went to his local CVS pharmacy and filled the prescriptions. The pharmacy gave him the wrong medication. However, since these were not prescriptions that he normally takes, it wasn’t until two days later that he noticed the medications provided by the pharmacy were not the ones prescribed by his doctor.

He was taken to the hospital by a friend of the family and entered into a fatal cardiac arrest 10 days later. The boy’s father is seeking damages for his son’s pain and suffering, death, loss of earning capacity, and medical and funeral expenses. CVS has not yet responded to or made any public comment on the lawsuit.

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Earlier this month in British Columbia, Canada, an 18-year-old young man was given blood-pressure medicine by his local pharmacy instead of the acne medication prescribed by his doctor. According to one local Canadian news source, the error was harmless in that the young man’s mother caught the error after being on high alert after reading about the increased frequency of prescription errors in an earlier article.

purple-pills-2-161251-mEvidently, the woman picked up her son’s medication at the pharmacy, and all seemed normal. However, when he opened up the bottle, he noticed that the pills didn’t look the same as they usually did. His mother, who was luckily right there at the time, told her son not to take the medication despite his insistence that the medication must have been the right one because it was provided by the pharmacist.

Thankfully, the young man did not ingest any of the blood-pressure medication. Had he done so, the results could have been catastrophic, since he is a novice pilot and is in the air flying solo much of the time. Had he taken the medication and passed out while flying, the results could have been tragic.

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A recent report by one local Canadian news source points out that, despite there being thousands upon thousands of prescription errors in Canada each year, there is little in the way of accountability for pharmacists who make the errors. According to the report, Canada has about 38,000 pharmacists who fill about half a billion prescriptions each year. But the error rate is unknown.

perscription-drugs-2-1160103-mOne woman told reporters that she was provided a double dose of her anxiety medication when she went to have her prescription filled. Another woman told her story about how she was not told by her pharmacist that a prescribed anti-seizure medication would interfere with her birth control. She ended up getting pregnant.

Another man was provided blood-pressure medication instead of the anti-inflammatory his doctor prescribed. He was in such pain that he had to take time off from work, and he eventually lost his job of 30 years as a result of the error. Now he is on permanent disability.

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Earlier this month, a man and his mother spoke with reporters about their experience having prescriptions filled at their local Costco pharmacy. According to the report, Costco incorrectly filled the man’s mother’s prescription not once but twice over a one-year period.

spilled-pills-72200-mEvidently, back in September the woman noticed that the pills she was provided by the pharmacist were larger than they normally were. She had her son call the pharmacist, who told him that they were indeed the wrong pill. In fact, the pill she was provided, had she taken it, would have resulted in her taking a double dose of the prescribed medication. The pharmacist instructed the woman to cut the pills in half and then take the proper dose.

Just three months later, the woman noticed that, again, the pills she was provided by the pharmacy were the incorrect size. This time, they were too small. Again, she called the pharmacist, who asked her to bring the pills in. After double-checking them, he confirmed that they were indeed the wrong pill and apologized to the woman before refilling her prescription with the proper pills.

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wooden-mortar-with-pestle-1405696-mEarlier this month in Boston, the Associated Press reported on a story of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that was under criminal investigation for over 25 deaths caused by medication that the pharmacy created. According to the report, the case is the largest in U.S. history to be brought against a pharmacy and alleges that the owner of the pharmacy and 14 former employees were engaged in criminal conduct in the creation of medication using expired ingredients.

Evidently, the New England Compounding Center employees are charged with knowingly using expired ingredients as well as failing to follow cleanliness standards that ultimately resulted in over 750 cases of illness and 64 deaths nationwide.

According to the article, the federal government recently seized over $18 million in funds that were being transferred into and out of accounts with various owners’ names on them. The seizures spanned 13 financial institutions and dozens of transfers.

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Just a few weeks ago, a Superior Court judge in Rhode Island reinstated the license of a pharmacist and state senator who had been found responsible for several serious pharmaceutical errors. According to one local news report, the pharmacist had committed several errors, including providing morphine to two children back in early 2012.

bitter-pills-73362-mEvidently, one of the two children provided morphine was an 11-year-old girl who was prescribed medication for her acid reflux. Upon getting home and taking the medication, the girl’s parents noticed that she became extremely lethargic. They took her to the hospital, where they found out that she had ingested morphine that was in her acid-reflux medication.

In an initial determination, the Department of Health revoked the pharmacist’s license for fear that another error may result in the loss of human life. However, the Board of Pharmacy recommended a mere 2.5-year suspension.

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Earlier this year in November, an 83-year-old grandfather of eight died after he was provided the incorrect medication by a pharmacist. According to a report by one local news source, the man attempted to fill a prescription for paracetamol to help with the pain that an ulcer on his foot was causing him. However, he was provided with Verapamil, a medication used to treat high blood pressure.

pills-2-526220-mEvidently, after the man phoned in his prescriptions, the delivery driver for the pharmacy came to the man’s home to deliver the medications, but the man was not home. Later, the head pharmacist himself delivered the medication to the man’s home on his way home from work. However, on his way out the door he grabbed the wrong prescription.

When the pharmacist delivered the medication, the man took the medication without reading the labels. When the pharmacist realized the mistake he had just made, he drove back to the man’s home to tell him that there should be no adverse effect from taking the wrong medication. However, hours later the man woke up complaining of shortness of breath and was taken to a nearby hospital.
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Earlier last month in Oklahoma City, a man was admitted to the hospital after taking another person’s medication that he was given at a local CVS Pharmacy. According to a report by one local news source, the man had just gotten his wisdom teeth taken out and was prescribed antibiotics and a strong dose of Ibuprofen. However, when he went to get the prescription filled, he was given someone else’s medication.

perscription-drug-case-1156714-mEvidently, after taking the wrong medicine for a couple days, the man’s wife noticed that he was acting different. He was sick and acting as though he was drunk each time he took the medication. As it turns out, he was taking anti-depression medication that was prescribed to another customer. He took a hefty dose of 300 mg, which was the prescribed dose of the ibuprofen he thought he was taking.

After he was admitted to the hospital, doctors determined that he would be fine. However, he was suffering from heart palpitations and extremely high blood pressure for those few days when he was taking the medication. A CVS representative told reporters that they have “comprehensive policies and procedures in place to ensure prescription safety and errors are a very rare occurrence,” and offered to pay for all the medical expenses the man incurred.

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Earlier this month in Bend, Oregon, a 65-year-old woman died as a result of a medication mix-up that occurred at a local hospital. According to a report by one local news source, the woman was admitted to the hospital for a brain surgery a few days prior and came back to the hospital with a dosage question regarding her anti-seizure medication.

pills-1111305-mEvidently, instead of providing the woman with her anti-seizure medication, the hospital pharmacy provided her with a powerful paralyzing agent that is usually reserved for surgeries. The woman stopped breathing shortly after taking the medication and went into cardiac arrest. The hospital took her off life support a short time later, and she was pronounced dead.

In official statements, the hospital has admitted that the incident was its fault, but it is still conducting an investigation into how exactly the fatal medication mix-up occurred. The woman’s family described their reaction as “pure anger” when they found out that their loved one died as a result of a preventable mistake. At the time of the article’s publication, the family was not sure if they are going to pursue legal action against the hospital.

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