Pharmacists in Maryland and across the nation have an incredibly important job. However, pharmacists are human, and they make mistakes. When they are stressed, tired, distracted, or spread too thin, they may make careless errors while filling prescriptions, or ignore safety procedures in the interest of time or convenience. A recent New York Times article shows that, while some of these errors are self-reported by employees, it turns out that Walgreens—a leading pharmacy used by many Maryland residents—had been covering up these errors and information about them.
According to the New York Times, pharmacy employees told consultants about the errors—how they were tied to stress, and sometimes involved ignoring safety procedures—but the senior leaders at Walgreens told consultants to keep that information out of their presentation. The director of pharmacy and retail operations, for example, had instructed them to delete a bullet point mentioning the issue. Another senior leader removed an entire slide from the presentation, which included various findings, including instances where pill bottles contained more than one medication.
This cover-up harms patients, who are routinely being harmed by pharmacy errors related to understaffed and chaotic workplaces. Pharmacists may very well be doing their best to fill prescriptions, give flu shots, answer the phone, and tend the drive-through during their shifts, but many pharmacies employ too few employees in an attempt to cut costs, meaning that in the hustle and bustle something gets lost. Adding to the problem are the corporate performance metrics pharmacists must try to meet, which incentivize speed over safety.
When pharmacy errors happen, the pharmacy may be liable in a civil negligence suit and may be sued for thousands or even millions of dollars. This may explain why large pharmacies want to cover up errors when they are found—to decrease their liability. Many may be hoping that if they draw attention away from the issue, patients will not sue. In fact, some patients may not even realize that there has been an error. Especially in cases of new medication, it may take quite a while before someone realizes that the pill they have been taking is not the one they were prescribed. Unfortunately for patients, even if they do decide to sue, they may have a difficult time. Pharmaceutical companies generally spend significant resources on large legal teams to defend such suits. As such, potential plaintiffs should consider seeking the assistance of an experienced pharmacy error attorney to take on these complex and difficult cases.
Contact a Maryland Pharmacy Error Attorney
If you have been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. Call Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, to find out more today. Our team of dedicated attorneys has represented pharmacy error victims all across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and are well-versed in this area of law. We can help you with every step of the way, from filing a claim to arguing at trial. Call us today at 800-654-1949 to learn more.