According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, a medication error is a “preventable event that may cause or lead to” a patient using inappropriate medication or experiencing harm while the medication is in control of a healthcare professional or patient. Maryland medication and pharmacy errors can occur at any time during a patient’s care, such as during prescribing, dispensing and administering medications. Although medications may carry the risk of side effects, a medication error can result in severe and life-threatening injuries.
The FDA reports that the agency receives over 100,000 complaints of suspected medication errors every year. The report separates the claims and classifies them based on cause and type of error. The reports stem from healthcare professionals, drug manufacturers, and consumers. The reports often allege death, life-threatening injuries, hospitalizations, disability, and birth defects. The FDA takes steps to prevent and reduce medication errors by taking steps before the pharmaceutical receives approval. The agency reviews the drug’s name, labeling, and design to reduce the likelihood of medication errors. For example, they take steps to ensure that the names are not easily confused with another drug. Further, they review labels to ensure that drugs that have different strengths are distinguishable from one another.
While these steps are necessary and likely prevent many medication errors, pharmaceutical errors continue to occur. These errors often stem from poor communication between a patient’s various healthcare providers or between a healthcare provider and a patient or pharmacist. Further, they may arise because of issues with similar-sounding drug names or medical abbreviations.
The Mayo Clinic advises consumers and patients to question healthcare providers and pharmacists if they feel wary about a course of treatment. These questions may help a patient avoid an unintended side effect or error. If an error occurs, patients and their loved ones may have a claim for negligence or medical malpractice against a pharmacist or a medical provider, depending on the specific circumstances of the error.
Negligence claims against a pharmacy or pharmacist are exceedingly complex, and require a plaintiff to establish that the defendant owed the patient a duty of care, they breached that duty, and the breach resulted in the victim’s damages. Given these challenges, an attorney can be critical to the successful preparation of a claim.
Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died because of a negligent pharmacist or pharmacy, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The attorneys at our law firm have a reputation for providing clients with compassion, respect, and zealous advocacy on their behalf. We have handled various Maryland medical malpractice cases against negligent medical providers, pharmacies, and other healthcare professionals. Additionally, our firm represents clients in claims arising from Maryland motor vehicle accidents, defective products, birth injuries, wrongful death, and slip and falls. Our personal injury attorneys can help you focus on your future while we handle your present claims. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 for a free and confidential consultation.