Orlando Pharmacy Malpractice Attorneys
When you pick up a prescription from your pharmacy, it’s natural to think that the prescription has been filled correctly and the medication is safe for you to take. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In fact, pharmacy errors happen far more frequently than most people realize and can result in serious injury or even death.
The Orlando pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Warner & Warner represent victims who have suffered injuries because of a pharmacy error. Pharmacy malpractice is a complex area of the law that can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of an experienced attorney. We have helped numerous victims of pharmacy and medical malpractice and are committed to holding the negligent party (or parties) responsible. We make sure victims are compensated fully and fairly for the physical and emotional injuries they suffered following a pharmacy error.
How Often Do Pharmacy Errors Occur?
According to the National Institutes of Health, preventable medication errors impact more than seven million patients, cost almost $21 billion annually across all care settings and about 30 percent of hospitalized patients have at least one discrepancy on discharge medication reconciliation. Each year 7,000 to 9,000 people die because of a medication error in the United States while hundreds of thousands of other patients experience an adverse reaction or other medication complications.
What Is Pharmacy Malpractice?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.” Medication errors can occur in a variety of settings. When a licensed pharmacist causes, or contributes, to a medication error that leads to a patient being injured, the pharmacist may be liable for pharmacy malpractice.
A variety of different types of mistakes can occur when a pharmacy is dispensing medication. If that error rises to the level of negligence under Florida law, anyone who contributed to that negligence may be held legally accountable for the injuries it caused.
What Are Some Common Pharmacy Errors?
Several important steps must occur before you pick up a prescription from your pharmacy, and, unfortunately, an error can occur during any of those steps. The results can be serious – even fatal – injury to the patient. Some of the most common pharmacy errors include:
- Dispensing the wrong medication. With thousands of prescription drugs on the market it should not be surprising that medications often have similar names which can lead to dispensing the wrong medication to a patient. Prescriptions can also get mixed up, resulting in the wrong medication being given to a patient.
- Giving medication to the wrong patient. When a pharmacy is extremely busy, a prescription can inadvertently be given to the wrong patient.
- Failing to recognize possible drug interactions or allergies. Pharmacists are trained to recognize potential drug interactions that can be harmful to patients, as well as allergies that might cause an otherwise safe medication to become harmful. When they fail to recognize these risks, a patient can suffer serious injury.
- Dispensing the wrong dosage. A prescription that calls for 10 mg might be read as 100 mg by a pharmacist, potentially causing a fatal overdose in the patient.
- Failing to provide correct instructions or warnings. All prescription medications come with instructions and potential warnings. If this information is not included, a patient can take the medication improperly or fail to identify serious adverse reactions in time to prevent serious harm.
- Failing to counsel a patient. Pharmacists are legally required to offer to counsel patients about medications they dispense. Although a patient can decline the counseling, if the pharmacist failed to offer it and an adverse reaction occurred, the pharmacist’s failure to counsel the patient may be considered malpractice.
- Providing opiates to opiate-naïve elderly patients.In Florida, physicians routinely prescribe opiate pain medication for seniors and pharmacists routinely fill those prescriptions without considering the patient’s experience with opiates and their ability to clear those medications without significant side effects, including death or severe mental status changes necessitating the use of Narcan.
Who Is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Pharmacy Malpractice?
When a pharmacy error causes injury, it can be difficult to determine exactly why the error occurred. Depending on where the medication was dispensed, any of the following parties might be held legally accountable for pharmacy negligence:
- Pharmacy (such as CVS or Walgreens)
- Pharmacy technician or other staff
What Compensation Can Orlando Victims of Pharmacy Malpractice Receive?
If you or a loved one has been injured due to pharmacy malpractice, you may be able to take legal action against the responsible parties to hold them accountable for the damages you have suffered and to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for physical injuries, pain, suffering and related losses.
This compensation could include payment for:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life – capacity to enjoy life and fully participate in normal daily activities
- Medical bills and care expenses – existing and future expenses for hospital care, office visits, medications, diagnostic procedures, medical equipment, rehabilitation, etc.
- Decreased income and earning potential – lost wages due to time off work and diminished earning capacity
How Can an Orlando Pharmacy Malpractice Attorney Help?
When you take prescription medication, you trust that your pharmacist filled the prescription correctly, gave you the correct prescription and that the medication is otherwise safe to take. If a pharmacy error occurred and that medication ultimately causes injury or death, the responsible parties should be identified and held accountable for pharmacy malpractice. You should also be compensated for the physical and emotional injuries you suffered as a result of that malpractice.
The experienced Orlando pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Warner & Warner are committed to advocating for victims who have been harmed by pharmacy errors. We will aggressively pursue action against the negligent parties and make sure you are fully and fairly compensated.
Our pharmacy malpractice attorneys have the specialized experience and knowledge required to successfully prove and litigate complex pharmacy malpractice lawsuits. Call us at 321-972-1889 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.