• Nov
    22
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    How Widespread is Pharmacy Malpractice in the U.S.?

    When people hear the word malpractice, they tend to think of physicians leaving surgical instruments inside patients’ bodies, operating on the wrong patient or misdiagnosing an illness. But malpractice can be found in any profession. We as laymen rely upon the expertise that accompanies a person’s professional title or education, and when that professional falls short and the result is real damage being done, that is malpractice, and we may be able to pursue compensation for the damage that has been suffered. Pharmacy malpractice can take many forms: the wrong medication can be provided or the wrong strength of the correct medication. Pharmacy malpractice can be providing incorrect dosing instructions to a patient, or even filling a prescription that a physician should not have prescribed. When pharmacy malpractice occurs it can result in serious physical damage, and even in death. If you or someone you love has been the victim of pharmacy malpractice, you need to speak to a qualified personal injury attorney who can provide you with sound legal counsel and experienced representation. Contact the attorneys at Jarve, Kaplan, Granato & Starr today to learn more about how we can help.

    Pharmacists are trained to do much more than read prescriptions and count out pills. They are valuable members of patient care teams, and that means that they have a tremendous responsibility. The statistics regarding pharmacy mistakes are startling. There are an average of 7,000 deaths every year in the United States that are specifically caused by adverse drug evets, and though not all of these are the fault of pharmacy errors, many of them are. Pharmacists are expected to be vigilant for drug interactions based upon a patient’s medication history. That goes beyond simply following a physician’s instruction, as a specialist may be unaware of a prescription that another has written, but the patient’s local pharmacy likely has a record of all mediations that they are taking or have been prescribed. This requires constant vigilance, and is part of the pharmacist’s responsibility.

    A ten-year study was conducted by a pharmacy underwriter group working in collaboration with a providers’ service organization that specifically looked at the types of injuries and claims that arose from pharmacy errors. In most cases the problem was that a patient was either given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication, and in 13.6 percent of those cases the patient ended up overdosing. In almost 12% of cases the patients actually died as a result of the mistake. Almost half of these mistakes occurred in independent or individually-owned pharmacies versus 35% in chain pharmacies. This may be a result of more rigorous quality control measures that have been put in place by the chain stores, who fear the financial liability that can arise from pharmacy malpractice lawsuits.

    The list of injuries that have been caused by pharmacy malpractice is long and tragic. Children have been born prematurely as a result of the mother being provided with the wrong medication; seniors have died of overdoses from improper instructions provided or being given medication meant for another patient. If you or someone that you love has suffered harm as a result of a pharmacy’s mistake, you may be entitled to file a pharmacy malpractice lawsuit. Contact Jarve, Kaplan, Granato & Starr to discuss your case and learn about your rights.

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