Recent Study Links Medication Errors to Sound-Alike Drug Names

It should come as no surprise that pharmacists are busy professionals. Often filling thousands of prescriptions a week for hundreds of clients, keeping everything straight can be a difficult task. However, it is one that pharmacists take on willingly. It is also a task that they are legally obligated to complete accurately. In other words, when a pharmacist makes a mistake with a patient’s medication, the pharmacist who filled the prescription, as well as the pharmacy that employs the pharmacist, may be held financially liable for any injuries as a result of the error.

The causes of medication error are not generally a lazy or uncaring pharmacist. In fact, according to a recent study, the causes of many pharmacy errors are that there are too many prescription drugs with similar names. According to one news report covering the new study, look-alike and sound-alike drug names are a real problem in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Study

The study took a group of pharmacists, nurses, doctors, technicians, and lay people, and it attempted to determine if mix-ups occurring in the labs (before a drug is released to the pharmacy) can be predictive of future errors that may occur in real life. The results of the study were not surprising in that similar-looking or similar-sounding drug names will result in an increase in error rates.

The researchers conducting the study suggested that drug manufacturers conduct this type of testing each time they release a drug to market in order to determine if there is a similarly named medication that could result in a future mix-up.

What Pharmacists Can Do

The reality is that pharmacists have no control over how drugs are named. Instead, they are required to deal with the drugs as they are named, and they must keep similar-sounding drugs straight. While difficult, this is their job, and even a well-intentioned mistake can have grave consequences for a patient.

Importantly for those who have been harmed by a pharmacy error, there is no requirement that the pharmacist had ill will or malice in filling the prescription. All that must be proven is that the pharmacist was negligent in filling the prescription and providing it to the patient. Of course, the patient must also submit some evidence that their injuries were caused by the ingestion of the drug provided to them by the pharmacist.

Have You Been Given the Wrong Medication and Suffered Injuries as a Result?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Regardless of how the error occurred, an investigation should take place to discover why you were given the wrong medication or wrong dose. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience investigating and litigating claims involving pharmacy errors, and we would be happy to discuss your case with you free of charge. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Court Holds Insurance Company Must Defend Lawsuit Against Medication Distributor, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, August 1, 2016.

Major Pharmacy Chain Must Pay $3.5 Million after Allegations of Forged Prescriptions, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2016.

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