Medication errors are a major cause of serious injury and death in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that at least 7,000 Americans die each year due to medication-related issues. Many of these are due to patients being provided the wrong drug or wrong dose by their pharmacist. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry and pharmacies themselves are strictly regulated by the United States government, but it is largely left to the individual pharmacist how they go about doing their job on a day-to-day basis. While some pharmacists certainly implement fail-safe protocols to ensure they are error-free, others are more fast and loose, creating an increased risk of a serious or fatal medication error.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the government body responsible for the oversight of pharmacies nationwide. According to one industry news source, the FDA has recently issued specific protocols for pharmacists and drug manufacturers to follow so that they can reduce the chance of causing a serious pharmacy error.
One of the issues the FDA sees as a major problem is the fact that many medications with vastly different purposes share similar names. This can lead to a situation in which a busy pharmacist inadvertently grabs the wrong medication and provides it to a patient. To help alleviate this, the FDA recommends that pharmacy staff should “write down the prescription and then read back the medication name, strength, dose, and frequency of administration for verification.”
Another recommendation the FDA makes is that the pharmacist on duty consult with each patient about the potential for error with that specific drug. This, the FDA hopes, can cut back on the many negative effects that can arise when mixing medications. This is especially important in times when patients are switching doctors, since that is when they may be prescribed two medications that could cause a serious problem when taken together.
Of course, pharmacists will not be able to prevent every single medication error, since some of them are beyond the pharmacist’s control. However, when a pharmacist is negligent in the filling of a patient’s prescription, that pharmacist may be held liable to the patient in a civil action seeking damages for any injuries sustained from the error. It may also be possible to hold the pharmacy that employs the negligent pharmacist liable.
Have You Suffered Because of a Negligent Pharmacist?
If you or a loved one has recently suffered due to a pharmacy error or negative interaction between several prescribed drugs, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from either your pharmacist or your medical provider. These cases can be very complex, and they may rely heavily on scientific and medical testimony beyond the knowledge of the average attorney. It is therefore incredibly important that you consult with a dedicated pharmacy error attorney prior to filing any case. Call the Maryland pharmacy error lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation. With the decades of experience behind the Lebowitz & Mzhen team, you can feel comfortable leaving your case in their hands.
More Blog Posts:
Pharmacy Errors Due to Incorrect Packaging of Prescription Drugs, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 8, 2016.
600,000 Bottles of ADHD Medication Recalled for “Impurity”, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 22, 2016.