Pharmacy Prescription Errors
Patients who fill prescriptions from their doctors and receive drugs from a pharmacy trust that they are getting the right medication at the proper dosage. When pharmacists and doctors make errors, however, there can be serious side effects—sometimes fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered from medication mistakes, including dosing errors, dangerous drug interactions, or other adverse drug events, you may be able to hold the medical professionals responsible for their negligence.
At the Miami personal injury law firm of Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, our attorneys have significant hands-on experience bringing medical malpractice lawsuits following pharmacy prescription errors. We command an in-depth understanding of the complex laws and scientific principles that these cases require and are steadfastly dedicated to securing the best possible result in your case.What Causes Prescription Errors?
There are a number of reasons that doctors and pharmacies might make mistakes with your prescription. Common causes of prescription errors include:
- Failure to research a drug and warn patients about possible side effects;
- Filling prescriptions that have the potential for an adverse reaction;
- Prescriptions filled with the wrong medication or the wrong dosage;
- Failure to adjust the medication to reflect changes in the patient’s condition;
- Failure to review a patient’s medical history and prescribing a drug they are allergic to; and
- Providing the wrong instructions for taking a drug.
Every pharmacy must have certain procedures in place to prevent medication errors. Further, it is the pharmacist’s responsibility to verify prescriptions if there is any doubt about the exact medication or dose the doctor prescribed. Pharmacists are also responsible for conducting a drug utilization review (DUR) and counseling you on using the medication you’ve been prescribed. The DUR should include a patient profile that notes:
- Any medications you are taking;
- Any allergies, medical conditions, or disabilities you may have; and
- Any known reactions to drugs that you’ve experienced.
The pharmacist should also evaluate potential drug duplications, over- or under-use of the prescribed medication, drug/disease contraindications, and possible drug interactions.
Discrepancies in your patient profile can have serious consequences and cause medication errors that could be dangerous or even fatal. Your pharmacist should be aware of all the Federal Drug Administration’s drug alerts or recalls to ensure you are not put at risk by dangerous drugs. Finally, your pharmacist should counsel you on the use of your medication, making sure you know what the medication is, what condition it is intended to treat, and how to take it.How to Protect Yourself From Pharmacy Prescription Errors
You can help protect yourself from prescription errors by taking a few simple steps:
- When you are prescribed medication, verify the name and the dosage with your doctor and write the information down.
- Always use a reputable pharmacy that’s adequately staffed, and avoid filling prescriptions online.
- Use the same pharmacy for all your prescriptions. Patients often have more than one doctor treating them, so the pharmacist may be the only medical professional who is familiar with all the medications you are taking.
- Verify the name of your medication and dosage with the pharmacist when you pick up your prescription, check the labels on the containers, open any containers and check the contents.
- Review any information provided with the drug that outlines health risks, side effects, or possible drug interactions.
- If you have any questions, ask the pharmacist for a detailed explanation of your medication and the directions for its use.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has suffered from a pharmacy or prescription error, first contact your doctor or hospital immediately to treat any complications or side effects. Document everything related to the incorrect medication, including the dosage of the drug that you took and when you took it. You should also keep a journal in which you detail your symptoms. Importantly, even if the error is confirmed, do not throw away or return the prescription drugs.Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney to Learn More About Medication Error Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has experienced a medication error, contact Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada as soon as possible for a free evaluation of your case. We provide legal representation for clients who have suffered from pharmacy errors in Miami and across South Florida, and we have the knowledge and resources to hold a negligent pharmacy or pharmacist accountable for their mistakes. Call our offices at (305) 448-8585 or toll-free at (877) 448-8585, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation in English, Spanish, and Creole.