Dispensing errors are an unfortunate yet frequently occurring situation in many retail and hospital pharmacies. While some Maryland pharmacy errors may not result in severe consequences, other errors can be deadly to consumers and patients. In addition to thousands of health supplements, herbs, and lotions, nearly 7,000 prescription medications and countless over-the-counter drugs are available in the country. Pharmacy errors are occurring at an alarming rate because of the growing number of pharmaceutical and holistic substances on the market in conjunction with staff shortages.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, about 8,000 people die because of a medication error every year, and hundreds of thousands of patients experience adverse reactions or other complications. These startling numbers result in exorbitant costs; additionally, many patients experience physical pain and psychological suffering because of medication errors.
While there are many reasons that pharmacy errors occur, the primary causes stem from communication failure, illegible handwriting, incorrect selection, and pharmacist or technician confusion. While some errors involve human error, others involve flawed or defective automated systems. In some cases, the combination of these errors results in improper dispensing.
Recently, a pharmacy publication reported on an error stemming from dispensing technology software. According to the report, a pharmacy worker incorrectly refilled a vial-dispensing robot. The worker retrieved two 500-medication bottles, failing to realize they held two different medications. The medication bottles are almost identical, the tablets look similar, and they have the same manufacturer. A pharmacist discovered the error before any patients received the incorrect medication. The pharmacist explained that while the automated dispensing system requires scanning, a worker can bypass the technology by scanning a single bottle. For example, if one is trying to add 500 pills and the medication comes in a 250-count bottle, the worker can scan one bottle and pour both into the machine.
Pharmacists and personnel for retail pharmacies should engage in period quality control and worker training to reduce the likelihood of errors. Workers who engage in risky behaviors, such as those described above, should be held responsible for their negligence. Further, manufacturers of defective dispensing robots should be held liable for injuries stemming from their dangerous or defective products. Those who have experienced a medication error should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
Have You Suffered Injuries from a Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you know has experienced injuries or died because of a Maryland medication error, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. Pharmacy and medication errors can have a lifelong impact on victims and their loved ones. Our attorneys work to ensure that Maryland injury victims recoup the compensation they deserve because of another’s negligence. We handle Maryland accident cases stemming from pharmaceutical errors, motor vehicle accidents, dangerous products, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. The prestigious lawyers at our Maryland office have extensive experience successfully representing clients in their cases. Contact our team at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Maryland injury lawyer.