What is a prescription drug error?

When a doctor prescribes a drug you expect that drug to help, not hurt. Tragically, a prescription drug error is one of the most common medical errors in our country and the consequences can be just about the most devastating and catastrophic.  The Institute of Medicine states more that 1.5 million medication errors occur each year. These errors result in $3.5 billion in lost wages and additional medical expenses.

Medical errors can range from a doctor prescribing the wrong medication or a wrong dosage. They can be a pharmacist giving you the wrong drug or the wrong amount. It can even be failure to warn about side effects from a specific drug.

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Whether the medication error occurs in the hospital or a retail pharmacy or through a mail-order formulary, our firm’s attorneys have successfully handled many cases. These are just a few examples:

  • A multi-million dollar verdict: Following two liver transplants a young man was prescribed an anti-seizure drug but was not monitored for the known complications. He died shortly after.
  • A six-figure settlement: An elderly woman who was prescribed a medication that was contra-indicated given other drugs she was already taking suffered an irreversible hypoglycemic incident and died.
  • A six-figure settlement: A laboratory error caused a woman to overdose on Coumadin. She suffered massive internal bleeding and died.
  • A six-figure settlement: A mail-order pharmacy negligently prepared a prescription for anti-rejection medication that a child needed following a heart transplant procedure. As a result of the misfilled prescription, the child suffered catastrophic injuries from rejection of the transplanted heart.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do About A Prescription Drug Error?

The most important thing a person can do is speak with a trusted healthcare provider.  You might need to stop taking the medication in question.  Or seek emergency medical attention for a complication.  Or discuss what steps are needed to diagnose and treat the complications you are experiencing.  It is also important to speak with an attorney who has substantial experience handling cases involving prescription drug error cases.

Is My Doctor Responsible For A Prescription Drug Error?

If you have been given the wrong drug, that could be the fault of the physician who ordered the medication, the pharmacist who dispensed the drug or the nurse who administered the drug.  The same is true when the wrong dose of a drug is given and when a drug is given without appreciating the potential for an adverse reaction to another drug already being taken.

What Is A Prescription Drug Error?

A prescription drug error usually involves prescribing or administering the wrong drug; or the wrong dose; or a drug that interacts with another drug to cause some harm.  Drug errors are among the most common medical mistakes that occur in our healthcare system and cause tens of thousands of injuries every year.