Every day millions of Americans walk into their local pharmacies with prescriptions to be filled. Those people trust that their medical provider wrote the correct prescription, and they trust that those pharmacies will fill that prescription correctly. But what happens when a patient is given the wrong pills or dose because their provider or the pharmacy made a mistake? These medication errors are very dangerous and have harmed numerous patients. Recent cases have been reported all over the country from Georgia to Texas to New Jersey of patients receiving the wrong dosage or an entirely different medication than they needed. In fact, in February 2013 it was reported that a lawsuit against CVS settled for $650,000 after a CVS pharmacy in New Jersey wrongly filled a child’s prescription, giving the child chemotherapy medication instead of fluoride tablets.
According to the FDA, approximately 1.3 million Americans are harmed by medication errors every year. This problem is unfortunately so common that earlier this year the FDA had to issue new drug labeling guidance to the pharmaceutical industry, in the hopes that these guidelines will decrease medication errors. Medication errors are committed by pharmacies and prescribing doctors alike. Taking the wrong medication, or even the correct medication in the incorrect dose, can lead to major medical problems or even death. Some examples of medication error include:
-The prescriber’s failure to recognize the patient’s allergy to a medication -The pharmacists’ failure to provide drug warning labels on medications -The pharmacist filling the wrong medication for a patient -The prescriber advising the wrong dose of medication
Many people do not know that medication errors can be medical malpractice. Actually, Illinois law states that medical malpractice occurs whenever a healthcare provider or institution violates the standard practices of patient care, and that violation results in harm to the patient. Essentially, when a doctor, pharmacy, or other healthcare provider does not follow the standard practice of treatment, and that failure harms the patient, medical malpractice has been committed. Medical malpractice can be intentionally or unintentionally committed, and is often the result of negligent actions. Healthcare providers are required to ensure that the medications they prescribe will not harm their patients. Pharmacists are required to ensure that the prescriptions filled are in the proper dosage and actually what the doctor ordered. Too often prescribers and pharmacists are negligent and fail to provide the level of care that other healthcare providers would give in a similar situation. This kind of negligent action can result in medication error and seriously injure or even kill patients.
Medication errors are a grave and all too common problem. Fortunately, people who have been injured by medication errors have rights. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medication error, you should contact us today. Our team of medical malpractice lawyers can help determine whether you have a malpractice claim, and explain all of your options. We will walk you through the process of pursuing your claim and getting the relief you deserve. Call today for your free consultation.
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