Keller Law

Pharmacy Error

Receiving the wrong medication from a pharmacy happens more often than people think. A lawyer can help you if you have been given the wrong medication and have been injured in any way.

Each year, 1.3 million Americans are injured because of medication errors.

Few people realize there is a real risk of picking up your medication from your local pharmacy and suffering severe consequences because of a pharmacy error or prescription error.

Large pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens fill billions of prescriptions every year. Medication errors can have tragic consequences for patients, including: overdose, toxicity, poisoning, or death. There are different types of pharmacy medication errors and one of the most common is providing the wrong medication.

Wrong medication errors can include:

  • Being given another patient’s prescription
  • Medicine labeled with your name but with the wrong medication
  • Pharmacy failing to identify drug interactions
  • <li
  • Pharmacy failing to double-check with doctors about prescriptions
  • Pharmacy confusing drugs that sound or look alike. For example, Alprazolam and Lorazepam are frequently confused at pharmacies.
  • </li

Prescription and medication errors occur for many reasons, such as:

  • Overworked pharmacy staff
  • Inadequate pharmacy training
  • Pharmacist negligence in supervision of pharmacy technicians
  • Lack of communication between pharmacy staff and doctors
  • Depending on automated systems to prevent all medicine errors
  • Cost-cutting by hospitals and big corporations who reduce staff

Even Minor Injuries due to wrong medication should be compensated.

You may have suffered from 24-48 hours of vomiting, headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, diarrhea, or any combination of these symptoms. Many of our prospective clients question whether it’s worth their time to pursue a pharmacy error claim. These claims can have many benefits.

Reporting these mistakes serves two purposes:

(1) Makes the pharmacies aware of the mistakes to prevent injuries to others

(2) Claims for even temporary injuries have surprisingly high economic value.

What should you do if you have suffered because of pharmacy errors?

You can decide to contact Keller Law LLP for a free case review. If you have been the victim of a medication error, the last thing you should worry about is trying to deal with a pharmacy who will deny your claim. When you have an attorney on your side, the pharmacies pay attention.

If you have suffered because of an error by a doctor, hospital, pharmacist, or a pharmaceutical company you should speak to an attorney today. Call us at 765.444.9202.

What can I recover in a pharmacy lawsuit?

Usually, the law allows people who have been injured due to pharmacy negligence and medication errors to file a personal injury lawsuit. In these cases, you are allowed to recover compensation for damages in these categories:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lost Income
  • Impairment
  • Physical Injuries

What if my injuries are minor?

Even if you do not believe you have severe injuries, the future consequences of prescription errors are unknown. You can call our office at 765-444-9202 to start your free case review today.

Pharmacy Malpractice Lawsuit

In a pharmacist malpractice lawsuit, the elements of the case usually include the following:

  • The pharmacist had a duty of care
  • The pharmacist breached that duty of care
  • The breach of that duty caused harm
  • Damages

Pharmacist Duty of Care

Pharmacists have a duty of care to the people whose prescriptions they fill. This is true whether the pharmacist is working at a drug store, hospital, clinic, or any location. This duty of care extends to the pharmacy, hospital, or clinic where the pharmacist was working at the time the prescription was filled. In a pharmacist error lawsuit, the attorney needs to prove that the person suing the pharmacist (or the pharmacy, hospital, etc.) was owed a duty of care.

Pharmacist Malpractice: Breach of Duty of Care

A pharmacist has a degree and holds himself or herself out as having the training and ability to accurately fill prescriptions. Pharmacists are, therefore, held to a high duty of care (standard of care) that requires absolute accuracy in order processing. When a pharmacist makes a medication error while filling a prescription, there is a presumption of negligence (a breach of the duty of care). In a pharmacist malpractice lawsuit, the attorney needs to prove that the pharmacist gave the patient the wrong medication, the wrong dose of the medication, the wrong directions for taking the medication, or some other error.

Pharmacist error can come in many forms, including the following:

  • The patient was given another patient’s prescription.
  • The patient was given a medication that had a name similar to the prescribed medication (for example, Toprol and Tegretol). This is one of the most common reasons for pharmacist error involving the dispensing of the wrong medication.
  • The pharmacist misread the prescribing doctor’s handwriting. This still happens, and both the pharmacist and the prescribing doctor can be found liable is these cases.
  • A patient is given the wrong dose.
  • A patient is given a medication that has been compounded incorrectly.
    Some medications are compounded by pharmacies. A pharmacy error can occur if the medication has been compounded with a larger dosage of the medication than intended. For example, in a case involving compounded colchicine where the dosage was 10 times the intended dosage, three people died.
  • The patient is given the right drug but the wrong directions.

Damages in a Pharmacist Malpractice Case

“Damages” in a pharmacist malpractice lawsuit usually involves compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, disability, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other amount that would be considered necessary to compensate the patient for his or her losses.

In rare cases, punitive damages may apply. Punitive damages are monetary amounts that are meant to punish the defendant(s) (the pharmacist, pharmacy, hospital, and any other party that may be liable).

In a pharmacist malpractice wrongful death case, amounts recoverable for pain and suffering may be limited or not provided for under wrongful death statutes. Contact our attorneys regarding “pain and suffering” and learn how recoveries for “loss of care and comfort” can provide additional compensation in wrongful death cases.

Call Keller Law LLP today at 765-444-9202 to discuss your pharmacy error case or submit your information on the web form for us to contact you. Our attorneys will promptly respond if they are unavailable on first contact.