What Constitutes a Pharmacy Error?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Jan V. Hinson with Tilton & Tilton LLP.

What Constitutes a Pharmacy Error?
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Pharmacy error remains a prevalent issue in the field of medical malpractice injuries. According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, a pharmacy error is constituted by “Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.” When a pharmacy error results in new or worsened injury to the patient, the party responsible for the error can be held liable for their resulting damages in a medical malpractice claim.

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist in this case, does not exercise a proper standard of care, which results in the serious injury or wrongful death of a patient. The proper standard of care refers to whether or not another doctor or pharmacist with the same training in the same situation would have made the same decision. If you or a loved one have suffered due to pharmacy error, reach out to a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.

Pharmacy error can occur in multiple ways.

It can be difficult to identify where exactly the error occurred due to the number of parties often involved in getting a single medication to the patient in question. The most common ways that pharmacy errors occur include the following:

  • Errors made by the doctor when prescribing the drug
  • Errors made upon entering the prescription information into the computer
  • Errors made when the drug is being prepared
  • Errors made when the drug is being dispensed
  • Errors made when the drug is given to the patient by a caretaker
  • Errors made when the patient takes the drug themself

The effects of a pharmaceutical error can be far-reaching and life-threatening.

While some medications may not be particularly dangerous, others can cause serious damage to a person’s health and life when not taken correctly. Pharmacy errors can range from mild sickness to hospitalizations, birth defects, disability, and even death. If you have any questions regarding a medication you were prescribed or given, talk to a doctor right away.

If you have been injured by a pharmacy error, do not throw away the drug.

It is particularly important to retain possession of the drug. If you decide to pursue legal recourse for your injury, the ability to present the drug for investigation is vital to building your case. It is also important to retain possession of whatever packaging, instructions, and medical paperwork you were given regarding the drug and its intended purposes. Pharmacy errors can result in more medical bills, lost wages during treatment and recovery, in addition to damages such as pain and suffering and even wrongful death in extreme situations.

If you or a loved were injured by a pharmaceutical error, reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Reporting a potential pharmacy error is a good way to protect yourself, your family, and future patients who might have otherwise suffered the same harmful effects.

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