When you go to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription, you expect the drugs you are given to be the right drugs with the correct dosage instructions. What you don’t expect is having to review the pills inside the bottle before you take them as prescribed. Even if you did review the pills, you probably don’t even know what to look for.
Pharmacists have a duty to ensure that you are given the correct medications as prescribed by your doctor. Most pharmacists take extraordinary care to make certain the pills they give you are the pills the doctor prescribed. But prescription errors can and do happen. Some pharmacies are simply too busy while others overwork their staff. The results can be lethal, regardless of the cause.
Pharmacies Make Mistakes
In 2016, the Chicago Tribune conducted a study that found fifty-two percent of pharmacies provided patients with potentially lethal prescription combinations without warning the patients. This number is staggering and shows how likely it is that you may have received a mistaken prescription from a pharmacy.
As shown in the study, there are countless ways the pharmacy could have provided you the wrong pills. Human error, filling the wrong bottle, printer error, and even mistake based on similarity of drug names. The last example is actually on the list of drugs commonly associated with prescription errors, kept by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The Chicago Tribune study continued showing that one pharmacy had staff filling a prescription once every 2.7 minutes. This study shows that in the fight between speed and safety, speed is winning by a good margin and patient safety is in severe danger.
Your Rights Following Prescription Errors
Pharmacists, just like doctors, owe you a duty of care. They must give you the right prescription and the correct instructions for taking that prescription. If you receive the wrong pills or are provided the wrong instructions, you can obtain compensation.
But once you determine you’ve received a mistaken prescription, you should first call the pharmacy to alert them to the mistake because you might not be the only patient involved. Let the pharmacy know if you’ve taken any pills and how many so they can provide you with medical guidance to ensure your safety. Once your health is determined to not be at risk, collect the information you will need such as the name of the pharmacy, the staff who helped you, copies of the prescription bottle and instructions. Then contact an attorney.
Seek Legal Assistance
While it doesn’t take an attorney to figure out you have been given the wrong pills, once you determine an error has occurred, speaking with an experienced attorney should be your next step. Based on the evidence you collected, we can provide you with an accurate assessment of your case and how best to proceed. We have years of experience in pharmacy malpractice and can provide you with the required skill and competence to make certain your case gets the vigorous representation you deserve. Contact the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Nagel Rice, LLP today to find out your legal options regarding a pharmacy prescription errors.