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Understanding Prescription Drug Errors & How They Can Occur

Do you trust that your pharmacist will give you the correct medication? Yes, is a common answer. But, it is always possible that the pharmacist could make a mistake. What can you do when this happens to you? When provided an incorrect prescription, for whatever reason, it is best to speak with a personal injury lawyer about ways to correct the situation.

Are These Errors Common?

Though the overwhelming number of pharmacy transactions proceed smoothly, errors do occur. There are a fair number of medications commonly mishandled by medical personnel, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How Prescription Drug Errors Occur

There are a number of ways that pharmacies can make an error, leading to patient injuries.

  • Providing bad directions is one cause of problems. Pharmacists may mistakenly instruct the patient, rendering the drug ineffective.
  • Likewise, listing an incorrect dosage can cause health problems. Too much of a normally beneficial drug might even make it lethal.
  • Failing to confirm whether the patient currently takes other drugs, that together with the new prescription may react negatively, is another potential danger.
  • A pharmacist might mistakenly provide a patient with the wrong drug because it sat next to another alphabetically on the back counter.

How Patients Should Protect Themselves

The law provides pharmacy customers with the right to drug counseling before they leave the store with a prescription.

It is wise for patients to insist on this counseling session. Furthermore, even if they have visited a pharmacy many times, it is still best to check the labels both on the outer bag and inner contents. This step will help ensure receiving the correct medication.

Once home, patients should also be aware of any color or size indications that differ from their expectations. Report the discrepancy to the pharmacist immediately.

What to Do When Something Goes Wrong

Contacting a personal injury lawyer about the accident is important whenever a pharmacist makes a serious prescription error.

In the case when a pharmacist, perhaps facing a waiting area full of customers, rushes through the counseling session, or refuses to provide one, then a negligence lawsuit is an option for those harmed by a prescription problem.

Regardless of the mistake, a local law firm like Geoffrey S. Gulinson & Associates PC will be able to offer advice on how to receive justice. It is important to remember that a life could have been at stake.