Earlier this month in the English county of Kent, a mother of a five-year-old boy discovered that the pharmacist had included a bottle of what was later determined to be methadone. The bottle had a label on it indicating that it was supposed to have been provided to another patient. Thankfully, the mother discarded any of the medication that was in the bottle, and her son was not provided any of the dangerous opioid.
According to one English news source, the woman went to her local pharmacy to pick up her son’s prescription for his acid reflux medication. When she got home, she noticed that there were two bottles in the bag. One was her son’s usual medication and the other a bottle indicating that it contained 70 milliliters of methadone, a dangerous opioid drug used as an alternative to morphine and also to treat heroin addiction.
When the pharmacy was made aware of the mistake, their initial response was that the bottle was empty, so it created no actual health risk. However, the mother told reporters that the bottle was indeed full of a liquid that she dumped down the sink as a precautionary measure. The pharmacy issued the following statement following what they called a “highly unusual incident”:
Having checked records and stock, and taken statements, our initial assessment is that the container was empty before it left the pharmacy, so it presented no health risk, … Nevertheless, we are sorry for any alarm that may have been caused by this highly unusual incident. We cannot comment further at this time.
Pharmacy Errors in the United States
While the mother discussed above was lucky that her vigilance and attentiveness prevented her child from ingesting any of the medication, not all people are so lucky. In fact, pharmacy errors account for some 7,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to some estimates.
The types of pharmacy errors are several and can include any of the following mistakes:
- Providing the wrong medication to a patient;
- Including additional, unprescribed medication to a patient; or
- Writing incorrect dosing instructions.
In any of these cases, the pharmacist who filled the prescription as well as the pharmacy employing that particular pharmacist may be held financially liable for any harm that was caused by the error.
Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacist’s Mistake?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a pharmacist’s mistake and have suffered as a result, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Each year, hundreds of patients are successful in holding negligent pharmacists liable for the harm they cause. Successful plaintiffs typically recover amounts for past medical bills, future medical expenses, and any pain and suffering they endured as a result of the error. To learn more about these kinds of lawsuits, and to speak with a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney today, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Five Dangerous Drug Combinations That Can Cause More Harm Than Good, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 1, 2015.
Hospitals Starting To Use New Technology to Decrease Prescription Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2015.