Confusion on Prescription Drug Label Leads to Pharmacy Mix-Ups

Earlier this month, the FDA issued a prescription-drug watch surrounding the anti-bacterial drug, Zerbaxa. According to a recent report by Pharmacy Practice News, the FDA’s warning was based around the fact that the dosing information on the label of Zerbaxa cartons was confusing and not uniform with other prescription drugs, leading to the possibility of a pharmacist providing a patient with an incorrect dose of the medication. The report has caused the manufacturer of the drug to alter the drug’s label to make it more accurate and more easily read.

prescription-med-72201-mEvidently, Zerbaxa consists of two active ingredients, both of which are listed on the front of the drug’s carton. However, on the old label, the two active ingredients were listed separately, one after another. For example, on a package that contains a total of 1.5g medicine, the label read:  1g/.5g. This could give a pharmacist the idea that the amount of medicine in the carton was 1g and that it was equal parts of each active ingredient.

In fact, according to the FDA, there have been several pharmacy errors made involving this exact situation, seven since the drug’s approval back in December 2014. In four of these cases, the patient took the extra dose and suffered an injury. Thankfully, they suffered no serious harm as a result. In the three other cases, someone caught the error before the patient actually took the medication.

The new labels that were created earlier this month delineate the actual content of each active ingredient more clearly, hopefully decreasing the chances of similar errors occurring in the future.

The Reasons for Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacy errors can be the result of a number of different oversights or mistakes made by a pharmacist. One aspect of a pharmacy error that is constant, however, is that they almost all result from a pharmacist’s failure to exercise the necessary level of care when filling a patient’s prescription.

In the above example, it is fortunate that the errors did not result in the injury or death of any of the patients who were prescribed an excess dose of the medication. However, that will not always be the case.

When someone is seriously injured due to a pharmacy error, there is an available avenue of recourse through a pharmacy error lawsuit. In these legal actions, the plaintiff may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation for their injuries if they can show that they were injured as a result of a pharmacist’s negligence.

Proving a pharmacy error case can be difficult, even though it is usually somewhat clear what happened and who was at fault. However, due to the procedural rules governing these types of cases, mistakes can be easy to make. For example, a plaintiff bringing a pharmacy error case in Maryland may be required to provide an expert’s opinion supporting their case theory, or otherwise the case may be subject to early dismissal. To ensure that all procedural aspects of a case are complied with, it is recommended that anyone considering bringing this type of lawsuit consult with an experienced attorney.

Have You Been Injured by a Pharmacist’s Negligence?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured after being prescribed the wrong dose of medication or the wrong medication entirely, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To learn more about pharmacy error lawsuits in Maryland, and to speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney experienced in pharmacy error claims, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation. The skilled advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have the experience you need to feel comfortable putting your case in their hands. Call today.

More Blog Posts:

Woman Hospitalized for “Poisoning” After Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2015.

Medical Journal Recommends Physicians and Pharmacists Convert Completely to the Metric System to Avoid Medication Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 4, 2015.

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