Prescription medications are a vital part of many Americans’ lives. Without these essential prescriptions, many individuals would be unable to control their ailments. The advancements of prescription drugs have allowed individuals to live longer and healthier lives.
Unfortunately, with the number of prescriptions available on the market and the growing demand of pharmaceuticals, pharmacies may make occasional errors. Though they may seem small, some of these errors can be the difference between life and death for many individuals.
Pharmacy malpractice typically refers to delivering the incorrect medication to the wrong patient. This may be accomplished in many ways. Most commonly, this occurs when:
- Drug bottles are mislabeled
- The wrong medicine is put in a bottle
- Patients are given another person’s prescription
- Pharmacists write the incorrect dosage
Though it is possible for doctors to make errors when writing out prescriptions, it is usually the pharmacist’s responsibility to check with the prescribing physician when he or she is unsure of whether the prescription has been correctly written.
Pharmacists are not always to blame for pharmacy malpractice; in some cases, pharmacy technicians make errors that can be costly to individuals. Technicians are individuals who assist pharmacists and usually fill prescriptions when all it requires is counting the number of pills to put in a bottle.
There are a number of reasons why individuals are unable to catch these errors. Most commonly, errors occur when a patient receives a new medication for the first time. He or she may not know what to expect the medication to look like or how much of the medication he or she should be taking.