Modern medicine and technology have expanded the number of drugs and medications available to patients struggling with illness, pain, or other health concerns. However, these medications can be dangerous if taken unnecessarily or in the wrong dosage. Generally, Maryland patients cannot decide which medication they will take—they usually need a prescription from a doctor, who has years of training and experience assessing patients’ needs and prescribing drugs that fit their needs. Maryland residents trust doctors to do this for them, but occasionally errors will be made, or a doctor will have a lapse in judgment, leading to injury to the patient.
For example, recently, a government official reported on a case where a doctor breached his duty of care and acted somewhat negligently, giving a patient access to a potentially dangerous quantity of medication. According to an independent news source, the patient in question had a long history of substance addiction and mental illness. In 2017, she was prescribed two drugs. The prescription stated that the drugs were to be given to her in 14-day supplies, so she only had access to two-weeks’ worth of the drug at a given time.
A few months later, the woman requested a three-month quantity when picking up her prescription. The pharmacy sent the request to her doctor, who changed her prescription to allow the pharmacy to dispense 90-day supplies of the medications without reviewing the patient personally. This, according to the government official’s report, was very dangerous—the type and quantity of the medication could be misused, especially considering the patient’s history of substance addiction and mental illness. The doctor had erred by allowing her a 90-day supply without examining her and considering whether she was at risk for misusing the drugs, and in doing so, increased the risk of harm to the patient.
Cases like this, unfortunately happen all the time. Doctors are supposed to look out for their patients’ best interests, but sometimes they end up approving requests for medication without paying close attention to the patient’s needs and the risks of the request. This is common with painkillers, which can be highly addictive. A careful doctor must balance the need to minimize their patients’ pain with caution about over-prescribing, leading to addiction and more harm to the patient down the line. When patients request more of medicine that could be misused—especially in large quantities, like the case above—doctors must carefully examine the patient and consider whether or not granting their request is wise. Failure to do so could lead to serious injuries or even death of the patient.
Do You Need a Maryland Pharmacy Error Attorney?
If you or a loved one have suffered due to a suspected or confirmed Maryland pharmacy error, contact the dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen immediately. Our attorneys have countless cases just like yours and can effectively advise you regarding your case. If you choose to pursue a claim, we will be there with you every step of the way. To learn more about our services and how we can help you recover, call us today at 800-654-1949.