Each year, in the United States alone, 7,000 to 9,000 people die as a result of a medication error. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of other patients experience an error, but often do not report an adverse reaction or other medication complications. (National Library of Medicine, 2022)
When you pick up your prescription from the pharmacy, you trust the professionals behind the counter to give you what you need. Pharmacists have a legal responsibility to their customers to provide proper care and attention when filling a prescription. Unfortunately, this is not the experience many people get.
If your prescription is wrong due to a pharmacist’s carelessness, inexperience, or lack of attention, you may be able to hold them liable for their negligence. That’s where the trusted team at Hoffman Law Firm can help. Read on to learn more.
Common Types of Pharmacy Errors
As a pharmacist, it is their professional duty to closely review the prescription order, evaluate the potential risks of prescribing the medication to the patient, and counsel the patient on the usage of the medication. If these simple steps are not followed, a number of different medication errors can occur.
So-called drug mix-ups happen. Drug mix-ups are almost always caused by a lack of attention from a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. CVS estimates its pharmacies fill close to 5 million prescriptions a day, over 25 prescriptions per hour. Most pharmacies have safety rules that are designed to prevent drug mix-ups, but overworked and underpaid pharmacy workers subject to pressure by corporate quotas make mistakes. Those mistakes can cost patients their lives.
Thankfully, the days of taking a handwritten prescription to the pharmacy with a doctor’s poor or nearly illegible handwriting are over. Now, pharmacy orders are relayed electronically. Human error happens, but dosage errors are completely preventable if pharmacies devote sufficient time and attention to training and supervision of pharmacy workers.
It’s a pharmacist’s duty to counsel the customer on how to take the medication. This includes how much to take, how often, whether or not it should be taken with food, and potential side effects. Pharmacists should also discuss any allergies with the customer and confirm other drugs they may be taking to avoid adverse drug interactions.
Preventing Medication Errors
Pharmacy errors are 100% preventable. Experts repeatedly advise the pharmacy industry to do things like reduce distraction, reduce heavy workloads, keep the pharmacy organized, and always counsel patients on the drugs they are dispensing.
Counseling patients is about more than just giving someone information about the drug they are about to take. Counseling patients forces the pharmacy worker to look at the pill container and double check that things are as they should be. When discussing the dosage and frequency, patients may notice errors as well. Ultimately, the only way reduce pharmacy error is by holding pharmacies responsible for the harm they cause. The bottom line can be one of the only things that will really get their attention.
Contact Hoffman Law Firm
Having trust in your medical professionals is something that should be easy, however, there can be mistakes that can cause serious injury. If you are considering filing a case due to a pharmacy error, our personal injury lawyers will be glad to help.
Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State.
Our personal injury lawyers here at Hoffman Law Firm have extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases.
We have established a reputation for success, as well as great service! To meet with a member of our team, schedule your free consultation today. Hoffman Law Firm is here to help!
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