Most people fill their prescriptions at a local pharmacy. However, over the past decade, more patients have begun to use mail-order pharmacies to fill their prescriptions. For many, mail-order pharmacies offer convenience and, for some patients, medication may be available at a lower cost. However, mail order pharmacies also present certain risks to patients. Indeed, there are hundreds of Maryland medication errors resulting from the negligence of mail-order pharmacies.
Not surprisingly, given the seriousness of the substances they deal with, pharmacists have a legal duty to their patients to accurately fill prescriptions and provide sound advice regarding the provided medication. Common types of errors include giving patients the wrong medication, dose, or incorrect instructions for how to take the medication. When a pharmacist makes an error that adversely affects a patient’s health, the pharmacist may be liable for the patient’s injuries.
Recently, the family of a woman who died as a result of taking unprescribed medication filed a lawsuit against the mail-order pharmacy that filled the woman’s prescription. According to a recent news report, the error occurred back in 2013, when the 74-year-old patient was sent medication she thought to be for her various conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney dysfunction and a history of strokes. However, as it turns out, the pharmacy sent the woman six prescriptions that were meant for another woman.
Each of the labels on the bottle had the correct patient’s name on them; however, because the woman had a hard time reading, she did not discover the error. Thinking the medication was prescribed to her, she took the pills. After ingesting the unprescribed medication, the woman’s blood pressure dropped and she suffered hallucinations and confusion. The woman then fell when she got up from her bed, breaking two bones in her leg. The woman was hospitalized as a result of her condition, and ultimately died of a heart attack due to the effect of the unprescribed medication combined with her existing medical conditions.
The pharmacy disputes the family’s claim, arguing that the woman was partially responsible for the error because she failed to notice that the pills were not prescribed to her. Initially, the family’s case was dismissed; however, on appeal that decision was reversed, allowing the family’s case to proceed to a jury trial. Ultimately, a jury will determine whether the woman bore any responsibility for the events that led to her untimely death.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured as a result of a medication mistake, the dedicated Maryland pharmacy error lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, can help. Our team of experienced Maryland injury attorneys has extensive practice handling all types of medical malpractice claims, including those involving medication mistakes. We represent clients across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation based on the injuries you have sustained, call 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation today.