Each year, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions are filled at pharmacies across the country. The busier a pharmacist gets, the more likely it is an error will be made. Prescription errors occur every day, with serious injuries and even death being the possible result.
Why Do Pharmacy Errors Happen?
A recent FDA panel identified several common factors contributing to medication errors in both hospitals and consumer pharmacies, such as inadequate differentiation between different drugs and strengths, confusing or distracting container and carton labeling, and inadequate or excessive drug information. Compounding the problem, many consumer pharmacies rely on improperly trained or inadequately supervised technicians to fill prescriptions, leading to even more mistakes.
Insufficient training and confusion behind the pharmacy counter can cause patients to receive the incorrect medication, the wrong dose of medication or a drug that interacts dangerously with other prescriptions. These mistakes can cause serious injury or even death.
How Can Consumers Protect Themselves?
Pharmacy errors are an alarmingly common problem — according to one recent survey, 42 percent of those questioned reported that either they or someone they knew suffered an injury because of a medication mistake. However, there are some steps consumers can take to protect themselves.
The key is education. At the very least, patients should ask their doctors to explain how their prescriptions work, common side effects and whether there are any dangers of adverse interactions with other drugs. In addition, patients should ask their doctors to describe the appearance of their prescription drugs and should double-check the appearance before leaving the pharmacy.
Consult Experienced Legal Counsel
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are trained to distribute prescription medications safely. No matter what safety precautions they take, mistakes still happen. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury because of a pharmacy error, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano To learn more, visit our website at www.sgglaw.com.