Pharmacy Errors and Mistakes: What You Need to Know

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May 6, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

pharmacy

Pharmaceutical drugs can work wonders when you’re sick or injured, both in the long-term and short-term. However, when pharmacists and pharmacy staff make mistakes, the results can be severe. An error can lead to further injury, hospitalization, or death.

Of the hundreds of prescriptions pharmacists may fill out every day, it’s no surprise that mistakes happen. Nevertheless, pharmacists have a duty to their customers and patients to be responsible.

Four Types of Pharmacy Malpractice

When you go to a pharmacy and get a prescription, be sure to read the directions and ask questions. If you have any issues or concerns, talk to the pharmacist before taking the medication.

Additionally, pay attention to these four errors and mistakes that could occur.

Incorrect Drugs

The most common type of pharmacy error is dispensing the wrong medication. Pills are labeled with codes, and they look different. Distributing incorrect drugs can include giving a patient a prescription with a similar name, mixing up patient prescriptions, or misreading the doctor’s handwriting.

If a pharmacist was distracted, multitasking, grabbed the wrong medication bottle, or mixed up prescriptions, it could fall under medical malpractice.

Missing Instructions

How is the drug supposed to be taken? Can a patient take it while drinking alcohol? What about pregnant patients?

Placing incorrect directions on a medication label—or failing to provide instructions altogether—can result in complications. Pharmacists should always check new drug labels.

Wrong Dosage

Sometimes a pharmacist may fill the correct drug but provide a wrong dosage of that drug due to a mathematical or packaging error. Giving a patient the incorrect dosage can cause them to suffer from extreme side effects or even death.

Lack of Patient and Drug Review

Ensuring that patients receive correct drugs, dosages, and instructions is only part of a pharmacist’s responsibility.  It is also crucial that pharmacists check prescriptions for dangerous interactions if a patient is taking multiple drugs.  Similarly, a pharmacist should be aware of potential allergies.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorney from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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