The Lack of Mandatory Reporting Requirements in U.S. Pharmacies

In most professions, when someone makes a serious error that affects the health or safety of another person, it becomes public knowledge. Indeed, we often read in the news about reports of doctors, police officers, and politicians who make questionable judgment calls. The fact that these lapses in judgment become public knowledge allows for the public to better understand the errors and encourages brainstorming about how to reduce those errors in the future through better policy-making and enforcement.

Mixed PillsPharmacists, however, do not face mandatory reporting requirements in much of the country. In fact, in most states, pharmacists are given discretion about when to report most errors. Interestingly, Maryland is ahead of the curve in requiring that certain adverse patient-related events, including medication errors, be reported within five days by medical professionals, including pharmacists.

The Seriousness of Pharmacy Errors

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that medication errors cause more than one death a day and injure over 1.3 million people annually. While not every prescription error will result in a serious injury or death, it is important to realize that the effects of a pharmacy error may not be immediately apparent. In some cases, medical experts are required to establish which, if any, consequences a patient who has been provided the wrong medication may face in the future.

Victims of pharmacy errors may be able to seek monetary compensation for their injuries through a pharmacy error lawsuit. However, due to the complexity of these cases, it is highly recommended that anyone considering filing a pharmacy error lawsuit consult with a dedicated personal injury or wrongful death attorney to discuss their case and the relevant deadlines and other requirements.

Pharmacy Error Victims Are Seeking Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Earlier this month, a Canadian news source published an article discussing the growing movement pushing for mandatory reporting in the wake of pharmacy errors. According to the article, as in the United States, the norm in Canada is to allow discretionary reporting. Evidently, this has led to gross under-reporting of errors and a disconnect between the actual number of errors and the public’s idea of how frequently pharmacy errors occur.

The article discusses that mandatory reporting requirements are not about finger-pointing but instead focus on encouraging an open dialogue about how the system as a whole can improve medical care.

Have You Been a Victim of a Medication Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a pharmacist’s mistake, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience representing victims of pharmacy errors and know what it takes to be successful in courts across the country. Call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated pharmacy error attorney today. Calling is free and will not create any obligation on your part because we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Pharmacists May Admit Responsibility for Error but Still Deny Legal Liability in the Face of Pending Litigation, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2017.

Woman Files Federal Lawsuit Against National Pharmacy Chain Following Serious Prescription Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 27, 2017.

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