Prescription Dosing Errors: Why and How They Occur

Pharmacists across the United States fill hundreds of thousands of prescriptions each day and, since they are human and prone to making mistakes, there are estimated to be hundreds of errors per day in pharmacies across the country. Some of these errors are minor or will be caught before the patient leaves the pharmacy. However, others may result in serious injury or even death in some cases.

One type of mistake a pharmacist can make is a dosing error. A dosing error occurs when the pharmacist provides the correct drug to the patient but fills the prescription with an incorrect dose. There are several possible causes for a dosing error. However, most often they are caused by a rushed or overworked pharmacist trying to fill prescriptions for large numbers of waiting patients.

FDA Cautions Pharmacists Regarding Noxafil

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a caution to pharmacists that the different formulations of the prescription drug Noxafil, manufactured by Merck, cannot be directly substituted for one another. According to one industry news source, since the delayed-release version of the drug was approved by the FDA back in 2011, there have been 11 documented cases in which a patient was provided the wrong dose by a pharmacist. In fact, one of those cases resulted in the hospitalization and another in the death of the patient.

Apparently, Noxafil has been approved in two different formulations to treat various types of fungal infections:  an oral suspension and a delayed-release tablet. The oral suspension, a liquid, does not contain the same amount of medication-per-milligram as the delayed-release pill, and therefore one cannot safely be substituted for the other.

The FDA cautioned prescribing doctors to make sure they specify the dosage form, strength, and frequency of Noxafil when writing a prescription. Additionally, pharmacists should make sure that all the above information is present before filling a prescription, and if it isn’t they should reach out to the prescribing doctor.

While there is no indication that any of the injured parties has filed a lawsuit against the filling pharmacy or the prescribing physician, it is possible that such a case may be successful, depending on the surrounding circumstances.

Have You Been the Victim of a Dangerous Drug?

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a doctor’s mistake in prescribing a medication or a pharmacy error in filling a prescription, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Every case is different, but successful plaintiffs may receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and their pain and suffering. An experienced attorney can help you asses the strength of your case. Call the Maryland-based personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers today at 410-654-3600 to set up your free consultation. There is no risk to call, and you won’t be billed unless we are able to help you recover damages for your injuries.

More Blog Posts:

Recalled Drugs and Pharmacy Liability, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2016.

Statutes of Limitations in Pharmacy Error Cases, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, December 9, 2015.

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