You count on your pharmacy to give you the right medication and correct instructions for taking it, as well as make sure there are no conflicts with other medicines you take. Pharmacy errors may create a personal injury claim for financial damages if a mistake occurs in the process and injures the patient.
Prescription drug errors do occur — it’s a documented fact and more common than you might realize. One report estimates that seven million individuals in the United States are affected by preventable pharmacy medication errors every year. If you take any prescription medicine, you should always be on the alert for potential mistakes when you pick up medication from the pharmacy.
Errors can occur in many ways. Among the most common are a pharmacist providing the wrong medication or incorrect dosage information on the label. Inaccurate or incomplete instructions for use of medication can also cause a problem.
Some drugs interact dangerously with each other and should not be taken at the same time. Your pharmacist is responsible for making certain that there are no conflicts in the medications you take. If a pharmacist fails to identify a potential conflict in your prescriptions, you may suffer injuries as a result.
Certain classes of drugs are at a higher risk of resulting in mistakes during the pharmacy process. They include painkillers, antibiotics, insulin, and anticoagulants. Especially if you take these types of drugs, you should be alert for possible errors when you get a prescription filled or refilled.
A pharmacist must perform consistent with a legal duty of care in filling a doctor’s prescription. If that duty is violated, and the patient suffers an injury as a result, the patient may have a personal injury claim against the pharmacy.
In any situation where you suspect a possible pharmacy error, stop taking the medication and get immediate medical attention. Medication mistakes can be extremely serious, and even fatal. The top priority is getting treatment to address the error.
When the medical issues are resolved, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer who understands pharmacy errors as soon as possible. Following up on the circumstances is best done immediately after the error occurs, since documenting pharmacy errors and resulting injuries requires detailed investigation and legal analysis.
If you suspect that you or a loved one received injuries because of a pharmacy error, our injury lawyers at Renfro & Renfro are here to help. We do not charge for your first consultation, so there is no reason to hesitate to contact us.
If you take prescription medication, you should be proactive in guarding against pharmacy mistakes. There are several steps you can take to prevent a medication error from harming you.
First, make sure that your doctor and pharmacist know about your allergies and all drugs you currently take. The easiest way to accomplish that is to keep a list of all your known allergies and medications, including over-the-counter items. Include dosage information with each medicine. Keep the list current and provide it to your doctor and the pharmacy every time you get a new prescription. Give a copy to your loved ones, so they can refer to it in case of an emergency.
If your doctor prescribes a new medicine, be sure to understand what the drug does and what to expect when you start taking it. When you get a new prescription filled, read all the information you receive, including the drug pamphlet. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to the pharmacist or your doctor before you start taking the medication.
If you get a refill, and the drug looks different or the dosage is not the same as previously, talk with the pharmacist before you take the medication. Those changes could indicate a mistake during the pharmacy process. If you’re still concerned after talking with the pharmacy, talk with your doctor.
If you start taking newly prescribed or refilled medication and experience any unusual side effects, stop taking the drug and get immediate medical help. Do not continue to take the medication until you resolve all concerns and issues.
In our personal injury practice at Renfro & Renfro, we help clients who suffer any type of injury due to another person’s negligence, including potential medication and pharmacy errors. We take pride in our client-focused approach to injury cases and our steadfast commitment to getting each client the full compensation they deserve.
From our Richmond office, we assist clients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you or a loved one experienced a situation that may involve a pharmacy mistake, we welcome you to contact us for a free consultation.