Each year pharmacies make millions of medication errors, leading to unintended side effects, and even death. Recent investigations revealed that pharmacies in California alone are responsible for over five million errors annually. Each year, up to 9,000 people die from medication errors, and hundreds of thousands suffer adverse side effects from taking the wrong medication. Pharmacists report that errors are the result of large pharmacy chains pushing quotes and high sales targets while slashing staff and limiting hiring.
Impact on Patients
The impact of medication errors is severe and tangible. Last year, a CVS patient in Ohio received what he thought was ropinirole, a drug used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He took approximately 27 tablets of the medication, experiencing severe adverse side effects, including increased anxiety, rapid heart rate, and sweating. It turned out that the bottle contained digoxin, a heart failure drug.
Another patient passed away in a Florida hospital after a pharmacy chain dispensed methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, to her instead of antidepressants. The chemotherapy drug eventually built up to toxic levels in her body, killing her.
In California, another pharmacy incorrectly filled a prescription for anastrozole, a breast cancer treatment, instructing the patient to take the medicine twice each day instead of twice a week. The patient followed the improper instructions for several days, suffering serious side effects as a result.
Why is There Corporate Pushback on Stricter Pharmacy Regulations?
Despite the rising numbers of medication errors and the millions of improperly filled prescriptions, large pharmacy chains have insisted that issues are rare. However, the reality is that customers lose many of their legal rights to contest errors when accepting the pharmacy terms and services. The standard CVS agreement states “You agree that CVS and you each waive the right to trial by a jury.” Meanwhile, large pharmacy chains continue to slash staffing levels and push pharmacists to increase sales. Recently, Walmart asked 16,000 pharmacists across the country to take voluntary pay cuts. Pharmacists around the nation say that complaints could be met with termination. A South Carolina pharmacist said, “any dissent perceived by corporate is met with a target placed on one’s back.” Another pharmacist in Missouri wrote, “We are afraid to speak up and lose our jobs . . . please help.”
Do You Need a Maryland Pharmacy Error Attorney?
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a pharmacy error in the Prince George’s, Baltimore, Charles, or Montgomery County region, let the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen help you recover the damages you deserve. Expenses and injuries from pharmacy errors can quickly become overwhelming, and having an experienced team of lawyers by your side can make all the difference. Our attorneys have successfully represented injury victims at every stage of the process, ensuring that they obtain the proper damages. With our team, you can have faith that your claim is being pursued properly. If you have questions about your case, call us today at 800-654-1949 and schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation with a Maryland injury lawyer at our office.