We trust doctors to properly diagnose us, and we trust pharmacists to give us the correct medication prescribed by the doctor. Prescription mistakes break that trust.
Everyone makes mistakes, but mistakes that seriously harm or endanger your health are unacceptable. Pharmaceutical errors are no exception—and if you were injured by a prescription mistake from a pharmacy, you may be entitled to compensation.
Even if the doctor correctly diagnoses you and prescribes the correct amount and type of medicine, pharmacists may misread the prescription and fill it incorrectly. They may give you the right medication but put the wrong directions on your prescription label. Prescription mistakes can lead to deadly overdoses, further medical complications, harmful side effects, or illnesses left untreated. It’s estimated that between 1 and 5 percent of prescriptions filled in U.S. pharmacies involve some kind of error.
Causes of Prescription Mistakes
People can be careless no matter what their job is. It’s important to remember that pharmacists are people too, and that specific conditions may contribute to their carelessness, including:
- Understaffed pharmacies
- Twelve-hour shifts
Understaffed pharmacies and twelve-hour shifts can lead to:
- No bathroom breaks
- No meal breaks
Pharmacists are people, and when pharmacies force their employees to work dangerously long hours and stay busy to the point that they cannot find time for breaks, accidents are more likely to occur.
Of course, some pharmacists do not take their work as seriously as they should and are by nature more careless than their colleagues. Pharmacies are responsible for hiring competent, careful pharmacists and for re-educating seasoned pharmacists who need a refresher on accident prevention.
Common Prescription Mistakes
The four most common prescription mistakes are:
- Wrong drug quantity (40%)
- Wrong duration of drug treatment (21%)
- Wrong dosing directions (19%)
- Wrong dosage formula (11%)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keeps a list of drugs commonly involved in medication errors. One common prescription mix-up is between a drug for kids with ADHD and a drug for heroin addicts. How? The ADHD drug is methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin) and the drug for heroin addicts is methadone. Many medications are spelled similarly or sound similarly, and when alphabetically arranged, it can be easy for pharmacists to grab the wrong drug.
Another common prescription mistake is failing to account for the interaction between multiple drugs in a patient’s body. Many Americans are on more than one medication, and it’s important that interactions between multiple drugs don’t cause dangerous side effects that harm the patient.
Hensley Legal Group Is Here for Victims of Prescription Mistakes
Hensley Legal Group represents victims of prescription mistakes throughout the state of Indiana. Our Indiana personal injury attorneys assist those who have been injured or the families of loved ones who have lost their lives because of prescription errors.
Pharmacists should fill them to help patients, not to hurt them. If a pharmacy has violated your trust and caused you harm, you have rights. Contact Hensley Legal Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation and learn how we can help you.