(Prescription Medication Malpractice)
Errors involving prescription medications are among the most common causes of preventable harm to the American public. If you receive a prescription medication that has been incorrectly filled or improperly prepared, the result can be tragic. In fact, according to an Institute of Medicine report, prescription errors by pharmacists and physicians cause at least 7,000 deaths in the United States each year. The number of these wrongful death cases is bound to increase as pressures mount on the modern-day pharmacist.
Because of a general shortage of pharmacists and increasing consumer demand, individual pharmacists are overloaded. Further, mail order and chain store pharmacies such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreens are increasingly requiring pharmacists to do much more than just fill prescriptions. This market transition has created a host of problems unique to corporate structure, where profit motives usually trump consumer safety. With more work, fewer pharmacists, and the demands of the retail industry to meet, it is no wonder why prescription errors occur.
Most pharmacy error cases involve the wrong drug or strength dispensed or the wrong directions for the administration of the prescribed drug. These breakdowns oftentimes occur because of poor training, under-staffing, communication failures, and lack of or inadequate quality control measures.
Medication error cases are complex, because they typically arise in hospitals and involve multiple persons who were involved in the prescription, preparation and administration of the medication. While legal cases involving prescription errors tend to center on an individual pharmacist, medication error cases require a type of multi-tiered litigation strategy and extensive discovery process.
Filing Pharmacy Error Lawsuits
Over the past decade, medication errors in local pharmacies have dramatically increased, putting the general public at risk. Often, these errors are a direct result of overworked and understaffed pharmacies. Some think that the proliferation of 24-hour pharmacies has also contributed to the growing prescription error problem.
From a legal standpoint, it is important that all pharmacy errors are properly reported and handled. If a pharmacy error is not properly reported and handled, there will be no catalyst for the pharmacy to improve their procedures.
If you are a victim of a prescription error, it is important that you seek emergency medical treatment as soon as the error is discovered. It is best that a relative or friend is with you when you seek medical attention so they can assist in providing the medical personnel important information about your health history. Moreover, it is always best that you or your companion keep the bottle or package containing the medication error. The container will serve as vital evidence should legal action be necessary.
Contact our Pharmacy Mistake Lawyers
While not every case of medication error requires legal action, every victim of a medication error should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal rights.