In this blog, we write a lot about Maryland pharmacy errors and the harms that can result from them. A lot of the time, Maryland pharmacy errors might not even be caught right away, and when they are, the individual affected may just decide to go deal with it individually with the pharmacy. Even if they decide to file a personal injury lawsuit due to the injuries they suffered, the case might not make the news or raise public awareness because the plaintiff is just focused on receiving compensation for their own individual injuries. Because of this, it is rare that there are public discussions about the errors that pharmacies make, and even rarer still that large retail pharmacy chains face consequences.
However, according to a recent news report, state regulators cited and fined CVS—the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain—for conditions found at four of its pharmacies, including inadequate staffing and prescription filling errors. CVS was fined $125,000, a relatively small amount for the multi-billion dollar company. The fine, however, validated concerns that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have about the risks of understaffing and pharmacy errors.
One of the errors found at a CVS pharmacy in the past year occurred when a developmentally disabled teenager received only one-fourth of his prescribed dose of an anti-convulsant medication. He ended up taking this incorrect dose for 18 days, during which he had uncontrollable and violent seizures. In fact, the seizures were so bad that he fell down and hit his head.
Why Do Pharmacy Errors Happen?
Two common causes of pharmacy errors are inadequate staffing and chaotic workplaces. Pharmacists have recently been expected to keep up with an increasing number of tasks—filling prescriptions, giving flu shots, answering phones, tending the drive-through, etc. They also are expected to meet certain performance metrics, which causes them to do all of their tasks as quickly as possible—and sometimes carelessly. Trying to work in a hectic environment with many things to do creates an environment ripe for pharmacy error, e.g., filling a prescription with the wrong dosage or medicine or giving a patient the wrong instructions on how often to take medicine.
While the recent state fine of CVS is a good sign that officials are paying attention, it does not do much to help those injured or otherwise adversely affected by a pharmacy error. That is why Maryland state law allows a private course of action—a civil negligence suit—to be brought against a pharmacy that makes an error leading to injuries or illnesses. Through these suits, Maryland plaintiffs can recover monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.
Do You Have a Potential Maryland Pharmacy Error Case?
If you think that you might have a potential Maryland pharmacy error case, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today to talk through your options. Our attorneys are happy to work with you throughout the entire process—from filing an initial complaint to collecting your award—so that you and your family can focus on what matters most: being together and recovering from your injuries. Call us now to learn more: 800-654-1949.