DRUG-RELATED INJURY CASES CAN RESULT FROM ERRORS AT THE PHARMACY
We put a lot of faith in the healthcare system, often relying on prescription drugs to help us cope with illness or prevent a condition from getting worse. But when the wrong drug is prescribed, or even the wrong dosage of the right medication, that can cause devastatingly harmful results to our health. Are you aware that the law allows you to seek damages for prescription drug-related injuries?
The opioid epidemic has been in the news a lot lately, but not all harmful drugs are opioids or painkillers. Millions of people take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements every day, and, in most cases, the benefits outweigh even the most serious side effects. But when you or someone you know has been seriously injured or killed because of a drug-related error, it’s time to claim financial restoration to help pay for lost work time, medical expenses, and forced permanent lifestyle changes.
In our country, the Federal Drug Administration regulates prescription drugs and oversees over-the-counter products. Still, the system is not perfect, and unsafe drugs enter the marketplace, causing serious injury and even death.
As personal injury lawyers at the Indiana law firm Ramey & Hailey, what we’ve found is that many recent cases of prescription drug-related injuries have to do with pharmacist error. Overworked pharmacists can make costly and dangerous mistakes by giving the patient the wrong dosage of a medicine, or even the wrong medicine! Think that hardly ever happens? Think again. A recent study found that as many as 5% of prescriptions filled each year are incorrect, and medical malpractice lawsuit statistics show that doctors make some four prescription mistakes on average for every 1,000 prescriptions written. Prescription drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the U.S.!
Speaking of traffic fatalities, the side effects of prescription drugs, meant to lower blood pressure and treat diabetes, (among the most commonly prescribed) can, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, impact your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Drug companies are responsible for manufacturing safe products and for warning users of any side effects of each medication (typically, a paper with a long, even exhaustive list of side effects is included with the package). But if you’ve been misdiagnosed and then prescribed the wrong amount and type of medicine , or your pharmacist misread the prescription and filled it incorrectly, leading to damage, you may have a personal injury claim against that physician or pharmacist..
Do misdiagnoses and pharmacist mistakes really happen often? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Between one and five percent of prescriptions filled in U.S. pharmacies involved some kind of error. Medical malpractice is a type of negligence. It comes about when there is either a wrongful action taken or an appropriate action not taken. Whether or not you have a chance of recovering damages for the cost of medical treatments, therapies, and work time missed, not to mention emotional distress, will depend on a variety of factors. Medical malpractice is a highly technical field of the law and must be explored with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer’s help. (The attorneys at Ramey & Hailey have been evaluating and pursuing pharmaceutical and medical malpractice negligence for more than 40 years!)