Earlier this month in the United Kingdom, an 85-year-old woman died when she took medication that was given to her by her pharmacist that was three times her normal dose. According to a report by one local news source, the woman was prescribed a 25 mg dose of a common anti-depressant medication. However, her local pharmacist admitted to giving her a box of 75 mg pills with a label on the package indicating it contained 25 mg pills.
Evidently, the elderly woman had been taking the same medication without incident since 1984. However, after taking the increased dose of medication for one month, the woman’s family began to notice that their loved one was confused and forgetful. In fact, one of her family members told reporters that they thought she was suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Not long after she began taking the triple dose of medication, the woman suffered a serious fall that caused her to break six ribs, puncture her lung, and caused her internal bleeding. About 10 days after the fall, she died as a result of the injuries she sustained.
After the woman’s death, the pharmacy sent her family a letter apologizing for its error. They explained that they were “busy.”
Pharmacy Errors in the United States
While this pharmacy error took place abroad, there is no lack of pharmacy errors made here on U.S. soil. Each year, in fact, thousands of people are prescribed the wrong medication by their pharmacists. Often, the side effects of taking the wrong medication are not fatal, but sometimes they are.
When a pharmacist makes an error that results in any kind of injury, he or she may be held liable for the injuries caused by that negligence. This can be proven in a number of ways, but it often will involve the testimony of an expert witness who can help the judge and jury understand how the potentially complex drug interactions operate to create an increased danger.
Selecting an expert witness for a case is not always as easy as it sounds. What kind of expert should be called in to testify depends on what facts need to be proven. In addition, there are certain rules of evidence that must be followed when dealing with expert witnesses.
Have You Been Injured by a Pharmacist’s Negligence?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured because of a pharmacist’s error, you may be entitled to monetary damages to compensate you for your injuries. Pharmacists have a duty to their customers to ensure the safe, accurate filling of prescriptions. When an error occurs, they can often be held liable if the plaintiff can prove that the error was preventable and the result of negligence on the part of the pharmacist. To learn more about pharmacy error cases, and to set up a time to speak with a dedicated attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 today.
More Blog Posts:
New Zealand Man Dies Due to Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2014.
Pharmacist Overprescribes Blood-Thinner, Causing Man to Cough Up Blood, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2014.