Labeling and Packaging of Medications May Contribute to Maryland Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacy errors can occur at different stages of the process of prescribing and dispensing a medication. And although some pharmacy errors may be caught quickly or may have a short-time effect, others can be devastating for Maryland pharmacy error victims. To decrease the prevalence of pharmacy errors, many researchers have looked to documented cases to determine where and how changes can be made.

According to a recent article, the labeling and packaging of medication contributed to two recent pharmacy errors. In one case, the prescriber of a mediation had prescribed sacubitril-valsartan (Entresto), a multi-ingredient medication that combined two drugs. The prescriber listed the strength of the medication prescribed as 100 mg, which was to be taken twice a day. When the pharmacist was filling the prescription, the pharmacist saw that the medication did not include a 100-mg strength, so the pharmacist chose the closest choice—97/103 mg strength (97 mg of one drug and 103 mg of another). However, the prescriber had intended that the patient take the total amount of the 2 drug ingredients (49/51) with 100 mg total.

The patient’s doctor later increased the dose to 100 mg, which was to be taken twice a day. The pharmacist dispensed the same 97/103 mg medication and gave instructions to take two tablets twice a day. The patient had severe adverse effects and the error was discovered. The insert on the medication suggested that the total amount was the basis for clinical trials, but the label listed the ingredients separately. To make matters more confusing, other combination tablets are prescribed according to the strength of each drug rather than the total, such as carbidopa-levodopa (for example 25-100).

In another case, two patients were dispensed double the medication for monthly refills. The drug, alpelisib (Piqray) was prescribed to treat breast cancer. The standard dose is two a1pelisib 150-mg tablets, for 300 mg total per day. The tablets come in a carton or calendar park that says “Two 14-day blister packs each containing 28 tablets” and states that it is a “28-day supply.” The label does not provide the total number of tablets in the carton (56). This led to confusion, as the pharmacist believed the patients needed two boxes in order to receive 56 tablets, causing two patients to receive an extra carton of tablets for the month.

Pharmacy error victims may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries, which may include compensation for physical injuries as well as mental suffering and more. Even if a negligent party fails to take responsibility for the error, a victim may still be able to show that the party was negligent and caused the plaintiff damages as a result.

Contact a Maryland Pharmacy Attorney

Maryland pharmacy error victims may be entitled to compensation but they must act quickly to evaluate their options and protect their rights. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our legal team can guide you through each step of the proceedings, ranging from the initial investigation of your case through settlement negotiations and any litigation that becomes necessary. We have decades of experience handling Maryland pharmacy error cases, along with the skills to effectively and correctly handle the case. Call us at (800) 654-1949 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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