In some ways, the pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated. Medications must undergo years of testing before they are released and available for prescription. Similarly, pharmacists themselves must obtain a specialized advanced degree and have a certain amount of on-the-job training before they are certified. However, pharmacy technicians require less training and are often permitted to fill prescriptions on their own, requiring only a brief glance by the overseeing pharmacist before being provided to the patient.
According to a recent news report, a lack of regulations inside the pharmacy may be responsible for the increase in pharmacy error rates across the country. The report details one woman’s experiences after being prescribed a dose of a prescribed medication. The report notes that lawmakers in many states have not enacted rules limiting the number of prescriptions a pharmacist can fill per hour or per day. This means that, rather than being permitted to focus on assuring that each prescription is properly filled, a pharmacist may be pressured by management to fill large amounts of prescriptions. This emphasis on quantity over quality can have disastrous results.
Prescription Error Results in Patient’s Skin “Melting Off”
Earlier this month, a local news report documented one woman’s struggles after being prescribed the wrong dose of the medication lamotrigine. According to the report, the woman went to the doctor because she felt depressed. The doctor wrote a prescription for lamotrigine, and the woman took it to her local pharmacy. However, the pharmacist on duty incorrectly filled the woman’s prescription at the wrong dose.
The woman took the medication for two weeks before her body began breaking out in blisters. She was later diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which is a rare skin disorder usually caused by some kind of medication error. Her skin became burned and scarred, she lost her vision, and she ultimately went into a five-week medically induced coma. During that time, her skin essentially “melted off.” She has since recovered, but she still suffers from serious scarring and discoloration of her skin. Doctors have told her that she could relapse at any time.
The woman told reporters that she has incurred nearly $3.5 million in medical bills as a result of the pharmacy error. She has filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy, the results of which are still pending.
Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?
Each year, tens of thousands of people are provided the wrong medication and suffer as a result. If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience representing victims of all kinds. We know what it takes to be successful on behalf of our clients. Call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury lawyer.
More Blog Posts:
Pharmacy Errors Occurring After a Transition to Long-Term Care, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2017.
Human Error Is Not the Only Contributing Factor in Some Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 24, 2017.