Major U.S. City Takes Steps to Reduce Pharmacy Errors

Maryland medical errors – including misfilled prescriptions – are one of the leading causes of death in the state and across the country. Indeed, a 2016 study by Johns Hopkins concluded that, if properly tracked, medical errors would be the third-leading cause of death in the United States. However, due to the fact that the law allows for voluntary reporting of most errors, many Maryland pharmacy errors go unreported.

Legal News GavelAccording to a recent industry news report, Chicago is taking affirmative steps to combat the growing number of pharmacy errors. The city’s actions follow a report by a local paper indicating that of the 25 pharmacies surveyed, over 50% committed at least one error. The city’s attempts are premised on the longstanding and verified belief that the more prescriptions a pharmacist fills per shift, the higher is the chance that the pharmacist will make a medication error in the type, dose, or administration of a drug.

In an attempt to reduce future errors, Chicago lawmakers have proposed a number of pharmacy regulations. For example, one proposed regulation limits the total number of prescriptions a pharmacist can fill by hour to 10. Another regulation requires that pharmacists who have been working in excess of eight hours notify patients as they fill their prescription. Lawmakers have also proposed that pharmacists be required to take one 30-minute lunch break and several 15-minute breaks per eight-hour shift.

The article’s author, a licensed pharmacist, discusses Chicago’s efforts in terms of “if we don’t do something, the government will,” and encourages pharmacists to take a proactive approach to self-regulation. For example, administering vaccines and other ancillary services on a walk-in basis takes a pharmacist’s attention away from filling prescriptions and should only be performed by appointment. Similarly, handling insurance matters inside the pharmacy takes up an inordinate amount of time and could be handled off-site.

Perhaps the author’s most important suggestion is to keep patient safety a top priority by incentivizing the accurate filling of prescriptions rather than emphasizing speed, as most pharmacies currently do.

Recovering Damages After a Pharmacy Error

When a pharmacist makes a mistake, and a patient suffers harm or illness as a result, the patient may be able to obtain financial compensation for their injuries through a pharmacy error lawsuit. These cases can be complex, however, and may require several expert witnesses to establish that the pharmacist’s error was what caused the patient’s injuries. Thus, those who believe they may have been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error should consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss their case.

Have You Been a Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing the victims of pharmacy errors in cases against the pharmacies responsible for the errors. We also have a large network of medical experts on call to assist in the preparation of our clients’ cases. To learn more, and to schedule your free consultation, call 410-654-3600 today.

More Blog Posts:

Experts Hope a Bottle’s Label Design Can Decrease Prescription Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2018.

Court Discusses Potential Scope of Liability Against Brand-Name Drug Manufacturer in Case Involving Generic Medication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 15, 2018.

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