Pharmacy Misfill and Medication Error Prevention

In a recent Baltimore pharmacy error injury blog, our attorneys discussed the prevalence of pharmacy misfills and prescription drug errors plaguing our nation, with over 1.5 million injuries medication-related events documented by an Institute of Medicine study.

According to a related study discussed by Good Housekeeping magazine, pharmacy errors occur in one out of every five prescriptions. Another study reportedly found that 18 percent of hospital patients are exposed to medication errors. When addressing the problem of pharmacy error and medication mistakes, it is important for the consumer to always check and make sure that the prescription given at the pharmacy is the exact medication prescribed by the doctor.

As our Maryland medication mistake lawyers discussed previously, taking the necessary steps to verify your prescription with the pharmacist before taking medication can prove to be an extremely valuable step in preventing medication error injury. A few pharmacy error prevention tips include:

When receiving a new prescription, always ask the doctor to write down the medical problem associated with the medication, as this could help prevent a pharmacy misfill. Also, when filling a prescription for the first time, it is important to check the prescription label carefully to verify the name, dosage and directions for usage. It is also important to form a relationship with the pharmacist, to discuss the medication directions, as well as any potential allergies or potential medication conflicts that could happen with any other current prescriptions or supplements.

It is also often reported that pharmacists are busiest at the beginning of the month, where reports find a 25 percent increase in deaths due to prescription errors. Try refilling prescriptions at other times during the month and make sure that the re-fill pills match previously filled prescriptions in color, shape, smell and appearance.

When entering a hospital, it is important for the patient to share a current list of medications and supplements, as well as the dosages and what the medicine is for. Also, when entering a hospital, a patient should always ask the hospital staff what medications the doctors or nurses intend to administer, and what these medications are used for.

Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers represent victims of pharmacy misfill and medication error in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area. Contact our lawyers today for a free consultation about your rights.

How to protect yourself from an Rx mix-up, Good Housekeeping/, March 2, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Medication Errors Harm 1.5M U.S. Residents Annually, Institute of Medicine Report Says, Medical News Today, July 25, 2006

Institute of Medicine (IOM)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Medication Error Reports

Institute for Safe Medication Practices, (ISMP)

Related Blog Entries:

Medication Therapy Management and the Prevention of Medication Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Blog, December 28, 2010
Medication Error Injury Prevention—Study Recommends Knowing Your Pharmacist, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 29, 2009

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