Every year, more than a million individuals are injured as a result of prescription mistakes. A small number of people even know of the physical risk associated with filling their prescriptions and possible consequences involved due to pharmacy errors or prescription mistakes.
Large-chain drugstores fill more than a billion prescriptions annually. Medication mistakes may produce heartbreaking consequences for patients with prescriptions, comprising of toxicity, overdose, poisoning, and even death. All sorts of pharmacy prescription errors can occur, most commonly being dispensing incorrect medication to the patient.While pharmacists can be overworked, they may become distracted or worn-out and can make medication errors, causing the patient possible serious injuries, for instance:
- Breathing problems
- Chest pain
- Allergic reactions
- Low or high blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Internal organ injuries
- Even Death
Regrettably, these circumstances are frequent, as pharmacy errors occur more often than most realize. Pharmacy mistakes aren’t unusual and it is fairly common that they dispense incorrect medications. It’s recommended that you verify all prescriptions prior to leaving to confirm that the info on the prescription-bottle equals the doctor’s prescription.
Incorrect prescription errors may include:
- When a patient receives a different patient’s medicine
- Incorrect labeling; your name but not your medication
- Pharmacy incorrectly identifying any medication interactions
- Pharmacy incorrectly identifying any medication allergy the patient may have
- Vague or Unclear medication prescriptions are not verified with the patient’s physician
- Pharmacies mixing-up or confusing certain medications of similar names and shapes. E.g., Lorazepam / Alprazolam are both often mixed-up at pharmacies.
These examples, as well as many others, present severe consequences of dealing with prescription errors. It could happen to any person, despite age or geographic location.These errors transpire for various reasons, for example
- The understaffed, overworked Pharmacy team
- Insufficient training and education of the pharmacy staff
- Carelessness and negligence in the management of pharmacy workers
- Miscommunication or lack-thereof, amongst doctors, pharmacist, and staff
- Relying solely on computerized systems to avoid all medication mistakes
- Understaffed pharmacies due to cost-reductions made by corporations and hospitals
Additionally, prescription errors responsible for even minor damages can render reimbursement and compensation.For instance; short stints vomiting, headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, diarrhea or any combination of these symptoms lasting only of 24-48, still causes for possible compensation when caused by pharmacy or doctor error. Some may question the value of seeking an attorney to pursue a pharmacy error claim, nonetheless, these claims produce several benefits.
Reporting Prescription Errors Supports Two Resolutions:
(1)Provides awareness of the inaccuracies and errors to aid in preventing future injuries to other patients.(2)Temporary claims for injuries can produce amazingly high economic-value.There are many variations of colors for prescription gel-caps. There are more than 75,000 color blends for pills or tablets. Medicines are manufactured in many different color-coatings. Although diverse colors help patients taking a lot of pills to distinguish each tablet, colors and shades may also assist them when refilling the prescriptions.When patients require refills, they typically call an automated prescription refill phone number.
They punch in the designated prescription number and then go to the pharmacy and pick it up when ready. Since a prescription refill is not new, most people use a drive-thru prescription when picking-up their prescriptions—disregarding a pharmacist consultation. Because of their hurry, they occasionally return home to find pills are different in color or even shape than expected.
Verify Your Prescription Bottles Before Leaving The Pharmacy.
Before leaving, open the prescription bottle and verify if it looks the same. If the prescription appears differently than you are accustomed, or color and shape are different, the pharmacy may have applied the wrong label on your bottle or attached a change of information form to your prescription, alerting you to the changes in appearance. If you choose, you can double-check directly with the pharmacist on duty or even call your doctor’s office to verify before you leave.
- Use Drugs.com to Identify your Prescription
It’s highly likely that Drugs.com’s Pill Finder will aid you in matching-up the imprint, shape, size, and color of the pill. Utilize the Pill Finder tool to detect pills you have found as well. At all times, follow-up with your physician or health-provider for any unresolved questions.
- Communicate with your Doctor
Communicating with your healthcare provider the most effective way to avoid any errors or pharmacy mistakes. You’ll need to properly identify your medication, but you will also need to gather imperative info about the treatment you receive, such as
- Is the prescription a brand-name or generic?
- Uses of the medicine?
- Precise dosage and when to take?
- Are there any drug, food, or even disease interactions associated with the prescription?
- Common side effects associated with the medication?
- What to do if you miss a dosage?
Researchers suggest that there are several steps to take that may keep you from becoming a pharmacy error victim.Consider avoiding prescription filling around the first of the month. Many senior patients, on limited budgets – use their Social Security benefits to refill their prescriptions. Pharmacies are typically the most hectic around the first of the month. Pharmacists are then overworked and are merely more likely to make an error on your prescription. For comparable reasons, consider avoiding Mondays as well, as it is normally the busiest day for pharmacies.
After the prescription is filled, look at it- is it as labeled on the prescription? If not follow-up with the druggist. Occasionally, verify your pharmacy prescription records, they reflect your present medications and will list interactions that may occur.Countless pharmaceutical companies manufacture drugs—ensuing numerous brand and generic named medications, all treating a certain condition. When a patient has an illness, doctors prescribe a particular drug to treat the condition. Afterward, the patient may take that medication for a number of months or years and doctors occasionally change the medication over to a different brand and/or dosage.
This transpires due to a possible change in the patient’s condition or the doctor has concerns toward the previous drug. Although a medication change may sound like a harmless act, it may potentially cause an adverse reaction for the following reasons
- A doctor does not make the pharmacy aware of the replacement
- A pharmacist could fill both old and replaced prescription instead of replacing
- Both drugs may be taken by the patient – intended to treat the identical condition
When an existing medicine is filled along with the new medication, the patient may not be aware of the pharmacy’s mistake. Unfortunately, this grave pharmacy error could lead to a patient ingesting an incorrect medication or doubled the planned dosage.
Prevent This Error From Occurring
Any changes in your health condition or recommendation by the doctor for a change, you must make certain you are aware of what is taking place with all of your medications/prescriptions. Meaning, you should communicate with your doctor and ask questions about any new medications. Ask questions such as
- Is the new prescription be replacing a current medication?
- Should I stop taking my current medicine with the addition of this new one?
- What is the name of the new medicine?
- Will you notify my pharmacy of the changes in medication?
Although the doctor’s office must communicate any medicine replacements or variations to your pharmacy, occasionally information isn’t transferred or received correctly. If this occurs, you may get both prescriptions—the new one along with the old medicine. To prevent this from happening, make certain that your pharmacy is aware that a new medication is going to replace the old one.
Mixing Two Separate Medications For One Complaint
When two or more medications are inadvertently taken together for one condition, a patient will ingest too much of an active ingredient. Too much of one ingredient can cause serious side effects, E.g., unwarranted bleeding in excessive amounts. This might inure a patient severely -internal fatal bleeding could occur and become fatal.
Automated Pharmacist / Robotic Machine
Technology is advancing all the time and so the medical community, as well as the public, are benefiting from these advances. Nevertheless, with the various technological developments, results are still fairly unknown. For instance, pharmaceutical robots viewed as a positive advancement, however many people consider the robotic dispensing device to present further possibilities for errors.Pharmacy chains are utilizing automated dispensers more frequently to fill prescriptions faster and hopefully safer. But researches are concerned at how these robots will work as well as the possibilities of automating one mistake into masses of mistakes. if a pharmacy automation machine fills an incorrect medication, odds are that many patients may receive the wrong pills and possibly suffer as a result.
Multiple Medication Errors By Robots
People fill the automated machines and if a pharmacy team or pharmacist loads the robot with the wrong medication, the robot will dispense multiple patient prescriptions in error. The medication is placed in a bottle, and if the mistake is not discovered, many patients could take the wrong medicine as a result. Regrettably, human error raises the chances for multiple-errors to occur when using the robot.Pharmacists along with their staff get busy and have to rush, causing a greater opportunity for mistakes. Some pharmacy errors are a result of dosing errors, while others consist of mixing-up medications—finally leaving patients the wrong medicines.This evidence is not meant to scare people away from automated pharmacies, but to inform patients of the possibilities and to always check prescriptions before leaving.
If you have fallen victim to pharmacy negligence and malpractice, you can seek legal advice and take action against the pharmacy for prescription error. Contact our attorneys who are board-certified and begin your case review.You should not be burdened with attempts of resolving the matter yourself, resulting in denials from pharmacies who may refute your claim. If you have injuries due to doctor, pharmacist, pharmaceutical or hospital, seeking out legal advice is recommended.
Expectations Of A Pharmacy Lawsuit?
Typically, the law permits that individuals who are injured because of pharmacy carelessness or neglect as well as medication error, file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages in the following cases
- Physical injuries
- Lost wages & income
- Medical bills
When guidelines are not followed and accuracy is not verified before dispensing medications to the patient by pharmacists and their staff, patients and their families will suffer.If a pharmacy fails to observe and follow basic, essential principles of properly filling prescriptions, then how do druggists and pharmacies ensure safety and prevent hazardous pill interactions, and how can they provide precise and accurate counseling as well as advice to patients and their family members, with questions or concerns about their family’s prescription medication?An Attorney will represent clients who stood injured, resulting from pharmacy errors by both nationwide chains as well as local – hometown pharmacies. If you consider yourself to have been a victim of a pharmacy mistake, it’s recommended that you immediately refer to both your doctor as well as your pharmacist to:
- Get assistance and advice on how to proceed with a potential complaint or side-effects
- Instruct them of the mistake.
- Retain, as evidence- the prescription as well as any literature supplied to you by the pharmacy. Don’t return the prescription bottle to keep as evidence.
Even without severe injuries, if you have suffered any from pharmacy error, it’s highly recommended that you seek out legal advice. Your report of the incident can save another patient’s life.