Consumers across the United States rely on their pharmacists to dispense the medications ordered for them properly and to act as a safeguard against hospital medication errors. Sadly, that trust is broken daily, and the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System shows that nearly 64,000 deaths and more than 373,000 serious injuries resulted from adverse drug reactions, many due to medication errors in pharmacy.Common types of medication errors in pharmacy:
- wrong medication;
- wrong strength;
- wrong label information; and
- insufficient label information.
These types of medication errors can result in pharmaceutical lawsuits which can become highly involved and complex. A Chicago med mal attorney is almost always necessary to make heads or tails of pharmaceutical lawsuits for medication errors in pharmacy.The negative consequences that could result from these medication errors could be fatal, and could include:
- taking a wrong medication to which you are allergic;
- taking a wrong medication which causes you harm or fails to address the condition you need a medication for;
- a damaging or fatal overdose of the medication your doctor ordered;
- a damaging or fatal under-dose of the medication your doctor ordered; and
- a negative drug interaction between this wrong medication and another one you also take.
Checking and Verifying Every pharmacy is supposed to have a series of checks in place to prevent errors from occurring. Even hospital pharmacies are prone to hospital medication errors when orders are mixed up, written poorly, or wrongfully prescribed. If there is any doubt as to exactly what the doctor prescribed, it is the obligation of the pharmacist to verify the prescription before dispensing the medication to the customer. Medical professionals who handle the prescribing and administering of prescription drugs must also be aware of dangerous prescription medications. When the FDA releases a drug alert or recall, your medical professional needs to make sure that you are not put at risk for medication errors and injuries.Drug Utilization Reviews (DUR) Pharmacists are responsible for conducting a DUR and for counseling you in the use of the medication. If this is not done prior to medication distribution, you may be eligible for filing pharmaceutical lawsuits if the failure to consult results in serious injury or death.The DUR begins by obtaining a patient profile, which includes information regarding:
- medications you are taking;
- any allergies, illnesses, disabilities, and conditions you suffer from; and
- any known reactions to drugs that you’ve experienced.
Discrepancies in your patient profile can be the negligence of your medical professionals that were in charge of obtaining this information. Because there can be many parties involved in the occurrence of medication errors you’ll want a Chicago med mal attorney to help you determine who to hold liable in pharmaceutical lawsuits for malpractice injuries.Even if your profile is properly documented, the pharmacist still must evaluate such things as:
- any potential drug duplications;
- overuse or underuse of the medication prescribed;
- drug-disease contraindications; and
- potential drug interactions
If there is any negligence during this evaluation it can result in hospital medication errors that can be permanently damaging or even fatal.Physician Consultation If the pharmacist determines that there is a risk to the patient if he fills the prescription, he must consult with your doctor. Patients often have more than one doctor treating them for different conditions, so the pharmacist is sometimes the only person who knows all the medications you are taking. Hospital medication errors often occur when there is miscommunication between the pharmacist and the doctors or nurses.Patient Counseling The pharmacist is required to counsel you in the use of the medication. He or she should make sure you know what it is, what condition it is intended to treat, and how to take it. If you did not receive this counseling you need to make your Chicago med mal attorney aware of this fact right away. The counseling session represents a final opportunity for the pharmacist to ensure that the proper medication is being dispensed and to try to ensure that it will be used properly. This is often the last chance for your medical professionals to avoid pharmaceutical lawsuits by catching any medication errors before they take place. The Chicago med mal attorney team at the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. is ready to help the victims of prescription medication errors and their families get to the source of the error and to help them fight for the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by hospital medication errors and medication errors in pharmacy.