Pharmacy errors occur at an alarming rate across the United States. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 1.3 million people who are injured each year by an error made in the pharmacy setting. These errors range in both severity and cause, but the bottom line is that they are almost all due to an overburdened pharmacist making a mistake in the heat of the moment.
Although most pharmacy errors are complete accidents or oversights, that does not excuse the negligent pharmacist from fault. In fact, Maryland law allows for any person who is harmed by a pharmacist’s negligence to recover compensation for their injuries and emotional distress through a personal injury lawsuit.
There are several common scenarios that give rise to serious pharmacy errors, including when a pharmacist provides the wrong type of medication to the patient, provides the right drug but the wrong dose or strength of the medication, provides the wrong dosage instructions, fails to warn the patient of interactions with commonly taken over-the-counter medications or other known prescriptions, or fails to advise the patient of expected or possible side effects of the medication.
In any of the above cases, the pharmacist who filled the prescription, and potentially the pharmacy where the error occurred, may be held liable for any injuries that resulted from the error.
Information is the Best Means of Prevention
While a patient cannot get behind the counter and ensure that a pharmacist is diligently and accurately filling their prescription, there are some precautions that patients can take to reduce the likelihood of ingesting non-prescribed medication. One recent news report suggests patients should not let the fact that the pharmacist is busy stop them from asking the pharmacist on duty several questions. A few questions that are suggested are:
- Inquiring as to whether there are any negative reactions with any other medications the patient is taking;
- Asking the pharmacist to verify the prescription in front of the patient, including the type of medication, the dose, and the dosage instructions; and
- Finding out what potential side effects can be expected while taking the medication.
Of course, the duty to ensure that the proper medication is provided to the patient rests solely with the pharmacist, and not every error can be prevented by a patient’s diligence. In these cases, a Maryland pharmacy error attorney can help those injured by a pharmacist’s negligence obtain the compensation they deserve.
Have You Been Injured by a Pharmacist’s Negligence?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a pharmacist’s mistake, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Of course, before you are able to recover for your injuries, you must prove that the pharmacist’s error resulted in your injuries. This usually requires the testimony of a medical expert, and it can quite often become scientifically complex. To learn more about Maryland pharmacy error cases, and to speak with a dedicated personal injury advocate, call 410-654-3600 today. Calling is free, and you will not be billed for any legal services unless you receive compensation for your injuries.
More Blog Posts:
New Study Shows Post-Op Medication Errors More Common than Previously Thought, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2015.
Statutes of Limitations in Pharmacy Error Cases, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, December 9, 2015.