Pharmacists’ Reactions to Reported Medication Errors

Mistakes happen. Despite the best efforts of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, sometimes an error will occur, and a patient will be provided with the wrong medication, or provided with the right medication but with inaccurate instructions on how to take it. In these cases, patients will almost always first reach out to the filling pharmacist to determine whether an error occurred and whether they should immediately go to the hospital. When pharmacy staff denies the error or tries to push the mistake onto someone else, patients understandably get frustrated.

On one hand, it makes sense why a pharmacist would initially deny liability when hearing that a medication error occurred, since if any injuries result from the error, they could be held personally and professionally liable. In addition, the pharmacy that employs the technician can also be held liable. In fact, in some cases the financial liability for medication errors can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in cases when a serious injury or death is the result. However, avoiding responsibility or hiding the truth from the patient is certainly not the best practice.

Pharmacists Encouraged to Have Detailed Procedures in Place for Reported Errors

Earlier last month, a pharmaceutical industry news source reported on how pharmacies should consider putting detailed protocols in place for handling reported medication errors. The article documents one woman’s experience filling a prescription for 20 mg pills of amitriptyline. Instead of filling the prescription with the 20 mg pills the doctor ordered, the woman was provided 200 mg pills by the pharmacist on duty.

As a result of the enormous dose of medication, the woman began hallucinating and speaking irrationally. The next day, she could not function and slept most of the day. When she awoke, she called the pharmacy and spoke with the man who filled the prescription. He admitted to filling her prescription, but he would not tell the woman over the phone what medication he provided to her. He told her to bring in her prescription, and he would refill it for her. Instead, she decided to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy.

Thankfully, the woman did not suffer any long-term effects from the pharmacist’s error. However, the experience was undoubtedly a frightening one.

Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacist’s Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a pharmacy error, and you have been injured as a result, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Successful plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for any medical bills incurred as a result of the error, as well as for any time away from work. Depending on the severity of the injuries, plaintiffs may also be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation to you unless we are ultimately able to help you recover compensation in your case.

More Blog Posts:

The Nurse’s Role in Preventing Hospital and Nursing Home Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2016.

The Ease of Obtaining an Opioid Prescription, Even After an Overdose, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 18, 2016.

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