• Feb
    07
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    What are the Top Reasons for Pharmacy Malpractice

    When it comes to trusted medical professionals, pharmacists rank pretty high on the list. It wasn’t that long ago that people referred to their local pharmacists as “Doc” and would seek their advice on medical issues before bothering to make an appointment with their physician. But the pharmacy business has changed significantly over the last several years. Gone are the mom and pop stores where you knew the pharmacist’s name and could trust that they knew you, as well as all the medications that you were on. Now pharmacists work for big chain stores that have hundreds of customers. They are under tremendous pressure to fill prescriptions fast, and as a result of that pressure they can make mistakes — and those mistakes can cause significant damage.

    Though pharmacy malpractice is relatively rare, and pharmacists get a lot more right than wrong, that doesn’t change the fact that their mistakes can lead to serious injury and even death. According to a recent study, there are some pharmacy mistakes that are a lot more common than others and seeing what those mistakes are can make it clear how much harm they can do. They include:

    • Filling a prescription with the wrong drug. This can happen in a few different ways. They can grab the wrong medication, whether off of the shelf or from what is in front of them as they are filling multiple orders. They can also fill a prescription correctly but then put it in the wrong patient’s bag or mislabel the bottle. Taking the wrong medication can cause any number of medical problems, especially if a patient is already medically fragile.
    • Filling a prescription with the wrong dosage. Many drugs come in a variety of strengths, and the prescription written by the physician will be determined by variables such as a patient’s weight or how severe their illness is. When a pharmacist fills a prescription with the wrong strength, they run the risk of a patient either getting too much of a medication and causing damage or not getting enough and the patient not getting better.
    • Putting the wrong instructions on the prescription label. The information that a pharmacist puts on a prescription label is essential to a patient’s ability to take their medication in the way that their physician intends. If the wrong dosage (number of pills or period of time between pills) is put on the label, serious problems can ensue.
    • Failing to check for drug interactions or contraindications. Some drugs can cause serious problems if they are taken in combination with others, or by patients who are suffering from specific conditions. Though physicians should know about these variables, they do not always know what other drugs a patient is taking in the way that a pharmacist does. Not only should a pharmacist check their records, but they should not dispense medication without including appropriate warnings.

    If you or somebody you love has been harmed by a pharmacist’s mistake and you believe it is a matter of pharmacy malpractice, we can help. Contact us today to learn about the steps that can be taken to get justice.

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