When most hear that a pharmacy error was made, they assume that a busy pharmacist grabbed the wrong prescription, got the dosage information incorrect, or printed the wrong instructions. However, according to a recent industry news report, a large portion of pharmacy errors list information technology as a contributing factor to the error.
As health care technology advances, pharmacies are relying more and more on technology to fill in the gaps where humans are prone to making errors. These areas include patient records, dosage instructions, drug-interaction alerts, and receiving and inputting customer orders. In many cases, technology allows for fewer pharmacists to fill more prescriptions per day, which benefits both the pharmacy owner as well as the patient, who presumably will have reduced wait times.
As the report notes, however, technology is not perfect. According to the report, the most common errors involved the dosage of medication, including omitting the dose, including the wrong dose, or including an extra dose of medication in a patient’s prescription. While many of these errors will be caught before the patient ingests the medication, some of these errors will result in a patient’s injury.
The Risks Associated with Pharmacy Errors
Pharmacy errors can have serious consequences for a patient’s health. Of course, the primary risk of a pharmacy error is the ingestion of an unprescribed, potentially dangerous substance. Prescription medications are controlled by the government for good reason. Many times, prescription medications have serious side effects or may have negative interactions when taken with other common over-the-counter drugs. However, the effects of a pharmacy error may not be immediately noticed. In some cases, latent harm may be caused to a patient that will not become evident until months or years down the road. In these cases, an expert witness may be required to assist the judge or jury in understanding the effects a medication may have on a patient’s body.
Another potential risk presented by pharmacy errors is that the patient is not receiving the medication that they were prescribed. By providing a patient with the wrong medication, a pharmacist is preventing the patient from receiving the medication that they were prescribed by their physician. Of course, this can have serious consequences, depending on the medication and the reason it was prescribed.
Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacist’s Mistake?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience representing victims of pharmacy errors. We have a firm grasp on pharmacy error law, and we know how to navigate our clients’ cases through the legal system to increase the chance of a full and fair recovery. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
More Blog Posts:
Pharmacist Convicted of Charges Related to Deadly Meningitis Outbreak, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 10, 2017.
Woman Files Federal Lawsuit Against National Pharmacy Chain Following Serious Prescription Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 27, 2017.