Patients place a large amount of trust in their doctors to prescribe, and in their pharmacists to dispense, the safe and correct dosages of medications to treat their ailments. Similarly, patients also rely on their doctors and pharmacists to tell them about any negative side effects medications may have and any negative interactions they may have with each other. Despite this trust, prescription errors are surprisingly common and often result in significant injuries as well as death. If an individual has suffered negative health consequences due to an incorrect dosage or prescription, they should contact an experienced attorney to evaluate their claim and determine the possibility of recovering damages from the relevant nurse, doctor, or pharmacist.
Statistics Regarding Prescription Errors
Prescription errors are unfortunately more common than most people believe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first formed the Medications Errors Subcommittee in 1992 to evaluate reports issued by the U.S. Pharmacopeia. Based upon the report findings, this committee’s goal was to determine the appropriate action to take as well as to educate medical professionals regarding the results of these reports. However, as of 2016, the FDA still estimated that approximately 1.3 million people are injured each year due to medication errors in the United States.
Most Common Types of Prescription Errors
It is important for people to watch out for common errors relating to the administration of prescription drugs to protect themselves against a potential mistake. It should be noted that prescription errors can occur at any stage of the distribution process, from prescribing the drug, dispensing and administering the drug, to monitoring the drug’s administration. Some common prescription errors include:
- Improper dosage of medication;
- Errors in omission;
- Confusion due to ambiguities in the drug’s name or directions for use;
- Unauthorized prescription;
- Written errors in prescription (a doctor prescribing the incorrect type of medication or a pharmacist being unable to read a doctor’s handwriting);
- Failing to review patient’s medical history (especially pre-existing or past diseases and existing allergies);
- Errors in documenting the wrong frequency or administration; and
- Patient misuse due to lack of understanding of the correct dosage.
Filing a Claim
If you suffered an injury due to an error related to incorrect prescription or dosage of medication, you should hire an experienced local attorney to file a claim against the appropriate party for damages. Depending upon whether the wrongdoer was a medical doctor or a pharmacist, the time within which you may bring your claim will vary. Therefore, retaining legal counsel quickly may be critical to protecting your rights.
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys Today
If you think you have suffered an injury due to the negligent prescription or filling of medication, the experienced West Palm Beach attorneys at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC can help evaluate your claim and protect your rights. Contact us for a free consultation today.