American pharmacies fill approximately 4 billion prescriptions every year – this includes suppliers at hospitals, clinics, and institutions such as CVS and Walgreens (two of the largest pharmacy outfits responsible for about 1.3 billion of the annual total). Other pharmacies such as those associated with Rite-Aid, Costco, Target, and hospitals fill the remainder of the majority of these annual prescriptions.
With so many prescriptions going in and out of these locations, there are bound to be mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes are on the rise with more than 51 million people receiving the wrong prescription per year. If you are one of those patients that received the wrong medication or incorrect prescription dosage, you have the right to seek compensation, especially if those errors resulted in you becoming injured or the death of a loved one.
Who Is At Fault for Faulty Prescriptions?
Administering a prescription drug is a complex process that involves multiple medical professionals at various stages. Depending on the prescription and the condition being treated, the responsibility can be attributed to a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, all of the above, or someone else entirely.
If there were issues apart from, or in addition to the prescription concerning the medication itself, you may be able to hold the drug company accountable as well. This is why having the help of an experienced lawyer in such a circumstance would be tremendously helpful, as they will help you identify the liable party.
Some of the most common prescription-related errors that merit a lawsuit are as follows:
- The wrong type of drug
- Incorrect dosage
- Incorrect method of administration (pill vs. injection, etc.)
- Neglect to inform the patient of possible side effects
- Prescription of a drug that has harmful reactions to other current medications
All of these circumstances fall under the umbrella term of “medical malpractice,” essentially a term meaning negligence or hazardous behavior by a medical professional that results in harm to a patient. Note that it is possible to receive the incorrect medication and be completely unaware.
Illnesses or other harmful side effects may not arise right away and make take several days or weeks to display symptoms that would alarm you to the mistake. In other cases, these incidents can be so severe that they result in the death of the patient soon after the bad prescription. In either case, you have the right to file a claim against the medical professional responsible for the damages to your health.
File a Claim Against the Individual Responsible for the Error
Because there are so many medical professionals involved with the process of creating and filling a prescription, it can be quite the challenge to build a case in your defense. For this reason, it is best to approach this situation with the help of an experienced lawyer. They can help you to narrow down who may have been responsible for the error, and gather all the necessary evidence to protect you and earn the compensation you need to get your health back on track.