Medical malpractice always has sad results. The injuries these patients suffer can be life altering. One of the most life-altering injuries a patient can suffer at the hand of his or her medical care provider is a loss of fertility. Many people dream their whole lives of becoming parents, and treatment errors can rob those people of that dream. A Fred Meyer pharmacy is accused of doing just that in a case of pharmaceutical error.
Fred Meyer Accused of Pharmacy Error
A woman has filed a $680,000 lawsuit against Fred Meyer claiming that one of their pharmacy employees gave her the wrong prescription drug which led to her being rushed to the emergency room and hurt her chances of ever having a baby. According to a report by The Oregonian, she presented the pharmacy with a prescription for a fertility drug called clomiphene. Instead of giving her the drug her doctor prescribed, she claims the pharmacy gave her a different drug with a similarly spelled name. This caused a serious reaction which led to her being taken to the emergency room. While she recovered from the drug reaction she had to quit fertility treatments. She says this makes it substantially less likely that she will ultimately be able to become pregnant.
This is Not an Isolated Incident
Pharmacy errors are far too common. An Oregon pharmacy board survey in 2012 that involved 1,300 respondents found that 52% of those who worked for chain pharmacies reported that they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, “My employer provides a work environment that is conducive to providing safe and effective patient care.” CNN reports that each year in the United States there are 30 million dispensing errors at pharmacies.
While pharmacies used to be primarily small businesses, the industry has grown to be dominated by large chains. These large chains have stockholders to keep happy, rather than being able to focus their efforts on patient care. As a result, cost cutting measures designed to drive up profits are favored over slower, more methodical procedures that would protect patient health.
This highlights why medical malpractice lawsuits are so important. These major pharmacy chains will only change their behavior and provide work environments that allow pharmacists to provide proper care when doing so is their most profitable option.
In order to make the current unacceptable situation more expensive than a safer system, these chain pharmacies have to be forced to pay for the lives they destroy. Medical malpractice suits are the only avenue that allows patients to hold these corporations responsible for the injuries they cause. Once paying for those injuries is more expensive than preventing them from happening, the profit driven companies will change their behavior. However, measures like damage caps and limits on non-economic damages prevent them from feeling that financial pain and will prevent much needed behavioral change.
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