While Maryland patients often trust their pharmacies to give them the correct prescription medication and dosage, pharmacy errors, unfortunately, do occur consistently throughout the state. These errors can take various forms—such as incorrect dosage or incorrect medication—can be harmless or cause severe injuries and illness. Currently, there are three known pharmacy errors repeatedly happening across the country, reported by the Pharmacy Times. Maryland patients should be on alert for these errors that may affect themselves or their family members.
The first is an error occurring with rapid-acting insulins. According to the Pharmacy Times, errors have been reported due to searching for rapid-acting insulins by generic name, which has caused mix-ups between two insulins that pharmacists may think are the same but are not. The authorized generic version of a new type of insulin has a different onset of action after the injection, and some different ingredients. It cannot be used as an exact substitution for the brand name, although some are prescribing it that way, which may cause issues as patients use it.
The second error is a dispensing error in fentanyl. Transdermal fentanyl patches are placed on the skin. Sometimes, when writing the prescription, there can be multiple confusing numbers that lead to mix-ups. For example, one prescription read “fentanyl patch 72-hour 50 mcg/hour,” with mcg/hour being the dosage or strength of the patch. But the pharmacy employee who entered this prescription into the computer read “fentanyl patch 72,” which led him to mistakenly select a 75 mcg per hour patch instead of 50. This dispensing error can lead to stronger dosages of fentanyl being given to patients.
The last error reported by the Pharmacy Times concerns chemotherapy drugs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many medical appointments are now telehealth visits. Patients may participate in months of telehealth visits before arriving at an oncology clinic for chemotherapy. During this time, their weight is not recorded as it is during in-person visits. In one case, a patient’s chemotherapy drug was dosed according to her weight four months prior, because it had not been updated during telehealth visits. When she showed up to her first chemotherapy appointment, she had lost weight, meaning that the dosage prepared for her was incorrect. If mistakes like these are not caught, individuals might get too strong—or not strong enough—of a dosage, affecting their treatment.
While these three pharmacy errors are of particular concern right now, Maryland pharmacy errors are not limited to these three types. Maryland patients should pay special attention when picking up prescriptions or being administered medication, and monitor themselves for new and unexplained symptoms potentially caused by an error.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you have suffered from a confirmed—or suspected—Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, to learn more about the process for filing a pharmacy error lawsuit and recovering. Our attorneys have been through this process hundreds of times with Maryland patients like you and can help you through each step. Call today at 800-654-1949. You can also reach us through our online form.