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Pharmacy Errors and Drug Interactions

Pharmaceutical companies create, promote, and dispense highly sophisticated drugs. While many of these drugs alleviate critical ailments, taking improperly prescribed or dispensed drugs can lead to devastating injuries. Experts estimate that over 100,000 people die from adverse drug reactions each year in the United States and that the cost of drug-related injuries and deaths is upward of $136 billion yearly.

What Is a Pharmacy Error?

Pharmacy errors take many forms and can occur at many different steps in the process, from creating a drug to handing it over the counter to you. Below are some common types of pharmacy errors:

  • Providing the incorrect dosage to a patient: Pharmacists sometimes misread a doctor’s prescription and issue the wrong dosage for medication.
  • Distributing the wrong medication to a patient: In some cases, prescriptions with similar names (but very different effects) are confused for one another and given to a patient in error; other times, people with similar or identical names can be given someone else’s prescription.
  • Failing to provide correct instructions or warning labels: The instructions and warning labels that come with your medication are meant to help you maximize the benefits and minimize the side effects of your prescription; if the warnings or instructions are either not provided or are incorrect, it can result in dire consequences for the patient.
  • Not monitoring drug interactions: Your pharmacist and other health care providers have a legal duty of care when they prescribe a medication to you; that means they are responsible for monitoring and advising you about potential drug interactions and the harm they may cause.

Reach Out to Us to Learn More

Unfortunately, these mistakes often take time to reveal themselves, and when symptoms of a pharmacy error do appear, it can sometimes already be too late for the patient. It’s also important to remember that pharmacy errors don’t just occur in a pharmacy; when you are prescribed I.V. drugs in a hospital setting, all of the same mistakes can occur. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a pharmacy error, contact the attorneys at Charnoff Simpson PLLC for more information.