Pharmacy Errors Involving Look-Alike and Sound-Alike Drug Names

Pharmacy errors have been on the rise over the past few years. While there are many reasons why a pharmacist may give the wrong medication to a patient, one of the most commonly reported causes of pharmacy errors is look-alike and sound-alike drug names.

The pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on marketing to sell medication. Once a medication is established as effective and becomes popular, other medications that perform a similar function may be released with similar-looking or -sounding names. This can create a dangerous situation when a busy pharmacist needs to fill multiple medications for drugs that all sound the same, each with its own dosing requirements and instructions.

The Government’s Efforts to Curb Pharmacy Errors

According to an article in a recent industry publication, the Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (DMEPA) has recently ramped up its efforts to review drug labels prior to FDA approval in hopes of decreasing the total number of errors due to look-alike and sound-alike drugs.

The DMEPA is responsible for approving the labels pharmaceutical companies place on their products. As a part of this process, the DMEPA must balance label readability with the need to include all pertinent and necessary information. This includes determining the location of the drug name, the units of measurement, and the method of administration on the label.

The DMEPA is also responsible for approving the proposed name of a medication. Prior to approving a name, the DMEPA plugs the name into a database that checks it against all other medications on the market. If the proposed name looks or sounds too much like an existing medication, the DMEPA will not approve the name.

Of course, the best precautionary measures cannot guarantee that a pharmacist will not make an error, and the report concludes that pharmacists and other health care providers also need to do their part.

Pharmacy Error Lawsuits

When someone is injured after having been provided an incorrect medication, dose, or instruction by a pharmacist, they may be able to bring a pharmacy error lawsuit against the potentially negligent pharmacist as well as the pharmacy itself. In most situations, these cases require the testimony of at least one expert witness to establish the effect that the unprescribed medication had on the patient. To learn more, contact a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney.

Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled attorneys at the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of combined experience assisting pharmacy error victims with seeking the compensation they deserve. With a large and expanding network of expert witnesses nationwide, we understand what goes into selecting the right expert for each case. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated pharmacy error attorney today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our time or services unless we are able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries.

More Blog Posts:

Pharmacy Errors Occurring After a Transition to Long-Term Care, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2017.

Adverse Reactions to Prescription Medication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2017.

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