While the exact number of Maryland pharmacy errors is disputed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers a conservative estimate of approximately 7,000 deaths per year due to medication errors. Due to lenient reporting requirements in the pharmacy industry and the industry’s interest in keeping errors out of the mainstream news, experts believe that the true number of errors is much higher. Some reports suggest that upwards of 1.3 million people are harmed each year by prescription errors.
Prescription errors have a number of potential causes. However, like most mistakes, the most common cause is that the pharmacist filling the prescription overlooked something they shouldn’t have. Poor communication between health care professionals plays a role in many pharmacy errors. Along those lines, pharmacists will often misinterpret a physician’s abbreviations, either prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dose. Mistakes are also commonly made involving drugs with similar-sounding names.
Each of these situations involves one common variable: a negligent pharmacist. Undoubtedly, most of the pharmacists who are responsible for pharmacy errors are well-intentioned. However, given the everyday stress and steady workload, many pharmacists end up taking short cuts that can hurt their patients.
When a pharmacist makes an error that hurts a patient, the patient may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the pharmacy. While these cases are often successful, they do require ample preparation and experience.
Preventing Harmful Pharmacy Errors by Double-Checking a Prescription’s Accuracy
In a recent article discussing the high rate of errors among retail pharmacies, one man tells his story of being provided with the wrong dose of a powerful prescription medication. Evidently, the man had been prescribed the medication in the past and was familiar with what the pill looked like as well as the bottle it usually came in.
When the man received his most recent refill, he noticed that the bottle was a different shape than it normally was. This caused him to conduct further inquiry, finding out that the pill was marked “800” on the back. Normally, his pills were marked “600.”
As it turns out, the man was correct in that the pharmacist provided him with the wrong dose of medication. Thankfully, he was able to catch the error before he took any of the pills, but in his words, “somebody’s grandmother is not going to pick up on that difference.”
Have You Been Harmed by an Incorrect Prescription?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience representing victims and their families in cases involving incorrect prescriptions. In many situations, these cases require the testimony of an expert witness to explain to the jury the dangers and harms associated with taking unprescribed medication. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we work with a large network of knowledgeable and credible expert witnesses to assist in the preparation of our clients’ cases. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
New Report Indicates Prescription Errors May Claim over 100,000 Lives Annually, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 15, 2018.
Pharmacy Errors May Not Initially Be Easy to Detect, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 1, 2018.