Your pharmacist should take precautions to ensure the safety of your medication. There are safeguards built into the prescription process, from double checks when validating a prescription from your doctor to scheduling a refill. Many people receive essential medication from pharmacies vital for treating their conditions.
Unfortunately, even with these safeguards, pharmaceutical negligence can still occur and have severe consequences on your health. Medication errors affect over seven million people every year in the United States across all healthcare settings. This makes the potential for dangerous drug interactions and other adverse reactions a real possibility for patients.
If you have been harmed by pharmacy negligence, it’s essential to seek legal help as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process that governs pharmacy negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What is Pharmacy Negligence?
Although we rely on pharmacists to dispense vital medications, pharmacy negligence is quite common. Data shows that one in every five prescriptions in hospitals is filled incorrectly.
Pharmacists have a duty of care toward the people that trust them for their medication needs. Common errors from pharmacy negligence include:
Misreading a prescription
The lack of communication between the pharmacist and the prescribing doctor can lead to pharmacy negligence. A pharmacist may fail to understand the doctor’s prescriptions, resulting in giving the incorrect dosage to a patient.
Dispensing the wrong drug
Pharmacists must ensure the drug dispensed corresponds to the prescription. They may mix up generic medications with similar names, such as vinblastine and vincristine. They can also put the wrong labels on medication bottles.
Incorrect advice on how to take medication to a patient
The pharmacist’s lack of instructions regarding when and how to take medications is considered negligence. They must always make sure they give patients the correct instructions on how to take their medication because this ensures they are using it safely and correctly.
Failure to notice medication conflicts
When you fill prescriptions at your local pharmacy, the pharmacist must review each prescription and check for any potential interactions with other medications you are taking. A pharmacist can fail to detect potentially dangerous drug interactions when putting together your medications.
Ignoring allergies or sensitivities
If you have an allergy or sensitivity to certain ingredients such as gelatin and milk, your pharmacist needs to know about it from your doctor. The pharmacist must take precautions accordingly, such as ensuring the medications do not contain the allergens. When a pharmacist fails to consider your allergies, this can be regarded as negligence.
Medication Error Injuries
When a pharmacist makes a mistake, it could result in these medical injuries:
- Allergic reactions: You may experience a runny nose or rashes on your skin as your body’s immune reaction to a drug. In severe cases, allergic reactions can lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be life-threatening.
- Internal injuries: A delayed medication reaction can not only cause rashes, but it can also affect your liver, kidneys, and heart. Excess dosages caused 15% of bleeding in an older population with more comorbid conditions and poorer renal functions.
- Wrongful death: Wrong medication or a failure to account for drug interactions can result in wrongful death. Medication errors cause 7,000 to 9,000 deaths each year in the United States.
Damages You Can Recover from Pharmacy Malpractice
When pursuing legal action, you can recover damages for medical expenses you incur in your attempt to deal with the effects of a medication error. This includes costs related to emergency care, diagnostic tests, and hospital stays. If you required time off for recovery, you can also recover damages for loss of earnings.
You may also receive compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, if you lost a family member due to a negligent pharmacist, a wrongful death claim can help recover economic and non-economic damages such as grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.
Contact a Pharmacy Negligence Lawyer Today
After you receive medical attention for any health problems your pharmacist’s negligence caused, contact one of our medical malpractice lawyers at Nessler & Associates. The personal injury lawyers at our law firm can help you pursue legal action to hold all at-fault parties responsible for their damaging actions.
Our attorneys have successfully handled cases on behalf of pharmacy negligence victims injured after a pharmacist failed to take proper care when dispensing medicine. When a pharmacist acts negligently, and you are injured as a result, they may be liable for damages related to the medication error.
A pharmacy negligence lawyer at Nessler & Associates can ensure you receive financial compensation in your pharmacy negligence claim for any medical bills you incur in rehabilitating from a medicine error’s effects. Contact our law firm today at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.