Preventing Pharmacy and Medication Errors by Questioning Change in Pill Appearance

Each year, pharmacies make millions of medication errors, leading to unintended side effects and even death. Recent investigations revealed that pharmacies in California alone are responsible for over five million errors annually. Each year, up to 9,000 people die from medication errors, and hundreds of thousands suffer adverse side effects from taking the wrong medication. Pharmacists report that errors are the result of large pharmacy chains pushing quotes and high sales targets while slashing staff and limiting hiring. There are some simple methods customers can use to cut down on pharmacy errors.

Questioning Change in Appearance of Pills

Dispensing the wrong drug is the most common type of pharmacy lawsuit. Common pharmacy mistakes include pharmacists dispensing the wrong drug, the wrong dose, the wrong directions, and overlooking significant drug interactions or contraindications. As a result, patients should be encouraged to ask their pharmacist if they have any questions about their medications, and those questions should be taken seriously. Some professionals recommend that if the appearance of a dosage form or pill changes for a recurring supply of pills, then the patient should be informed of the change.

Due to the overburdened nature of pharmacy work today, it’s important not to assume that pharmacies are always accurate in filling prescriptions. Examining pills themselves and the directions provided ensures that you have the proper medication and allows you to seek clarification if anything seems off. Pharmacy mistakes occur far more frequently than most people realize.

What Is the Cost of Medication Errors?

The impact of medication errors is severe and tangible. Last year, a CVS patient in Ohio received what he thought was ropinirole, a drug used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He took approximately 27 tablets of the medication, experiencing severe adverse side effects, including increased anxiety, rapid heart rate, and sweating. It turned out that the bottle contained digoxin, a heart failure drug.

In California, another pharmacy incorrectly filled a prescription for anastrozole, a breast cancer treatment, instructing the patient to take the medicine twice each day instead of twice a week. The patient followed the improper instructions for several days, suffering serious side effects as a result.

Do You Need a Maryland Pharmacy Error Attorney?

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a pharmacy or medication error in the Prince George’s, Baltimore, Charles, or Montgomery County region, let the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen help you recover the damages you deserve. Expenses and injuries from pharmacy errors can quickly become overwhelming, and having an experienced team of lawyers by your side can make all the difference. Our attorneys have successfully represented injury victims at every stage of the process, ensuring that they obtain the proper damages. With our team, you can have faith that your claim is being pursued properly. If you have questions about your case, call us today at 800-654-1949 and schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation with a Maryland injury lawyer at our office.

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