Most people don’t really give too much thought when they pick up their prescription at the pharmacy, taking for granted that the pharmacy staff will accurately fill that prescription with the right medication, as well as the right dosage of medication as ordered by their physician. Many people would be very surprised to learn that there are more than one million people are injured every year in this country because of medication mistakes.
While many of these mistakes are minor ones and do not result in any harm to the patient, there are medication errors that cause serious injury and, in some cases, can even result in the patient’s death. For these victims, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can help them recover damages for the losses the pharmacy error has caused.
Just as doctors and other medical professionals are responsible for making sure that patients receive standard quality medical care, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are responsible for making sure that patients receive the medications that their physicians have prescribed. It is up to pharmacists and technicians to ensure accuracy, check to make sure there will be no drug interactions with any other medications the patient is taking, and to explain the directions for taking the prescription to the patient. If a mistake is made during any of these steps, the patient can sustain harm or even death.
Some of the more common pharmacy errors that a Virginia malpractice attorney’s clients have suffered include:
- Failure to ask the patient if they are taking any other medications
- Failure to ask the patient if they have any known allergies
- Failure to confirm the medication information with the prescribing physician if the prescription contains inaccurate information or is difficult to read
- Failure to provide the patient with information about the potential risks or side effects use of the medication may cause
- Failure to provide the patient with information about the potential drug interactions the medication may have with any current medications the patient is taking
- Failure to provide the patient with proper information about the use of the medication
- Incorrect dosage of medication dispensed to the patient
- Incorrect medication dispensed to the patient
- Mislabeling the medication
If a patient is given the wrong medication or is given an incorrect dose, they may not realize what has happened until they start having symptoms. These symptoms can be worsening of their current medical conditions or there could be all new symptoms that the patient has never experienced before. A patient may need to be hospitalized and require extensive medical care. This leads to high medical bills, as well as lost income because the patient is unable to work while they recover. All of the losses a patient suffers in a pharmacy error incident can be pursued through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If You Discover a Prescription Error
If you discover you have been the victim of a prescription error, make sure to keep the medication. Do not give it back to the pharmacy since this medication may be needed as evidence should there be a lawsuit filed. You will also want to report the error to the National Medication Error Reporting Program.
You should also contact a Virginia medical malpractice attorney if you have suffered injuries as a result of the medication error to find out what legal options you may have against the pharmacy which made the prescription error.
The legal team at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, has been advocating for victims of malpractice and other injuries for more than 30 years and will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.