Recent statistics on pharmacy errors paint an unsettling picture. Pharmacies make 51 million medication errors every year — according to a Pharmacy Times study — the ramifications of which are often catastrophic. “There’s been a tremendous increase in fatal pharmacy errors over the past 20 years” said David Phillips, a University of California professor who has studied the growing problem.With more patients seeking health care outside hospitals, outpatient pharmacists are under extra burden, putting them at greater risk for potentially deadly mistakes. Researchers estimate that of the millions of medication mistakes made each year by pharmacists, 1.5 million people are injured and more than 200,000 people die as a result.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a pharmacy error or prescription drug mistake in New York, medical malpractice lawyers at The Sanders Firm will review your claim free of charge to determine eligibility for legal action.
Victims of pharmacy malpractice in New York
New York is just one of dozens of states reporting an alarming rate of pharmacy errors, including prescription mistakes, dispensing the wrong medication, incorrect doses and mislabeling. Legal recourse is available to pharmacist malpractice victims, who may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earnings and other non-economic damages.
With a combined four decades of experience litigating cases involving pharmacy errors, The Sanders Firm understands the life-changing consequences that a mixed-up prescription or wrong dosage can entail, and are committed to balancing the scales of justice – one client at a time. When you consult a New York personal injury lawyer at our firm, you can rest assured you’ll receive personal attention and the highest caliber of legal representation.
Types of pharmacy errors
A study published by the Pharmacy Manpower Project revealed that the workload of our nation’s pharmacists has increased significantly over the years, and many of those practitioners believe that patients would suffer as a result.
Dealing with high volumes of daily prescriptions, fatigue, frequent interruptions and similar drug names, it’s easy to see how a growing workload could contribute to a spike in medication errors and allegations of pharmacist malpractice.
Some of the most common types of pharmacy errors reported include:
- Incorrect dosing/ dosing errors
- Incorrect prescription dispensed
- Drug is mislabeled
- Wrong instructions are given
- Prescription has been compounded incorrectly
- Pharmacy dispenses incorrect medication with a similar name to that prescribed
- Pharmacist misread the doctor’s handwriting, and dispenses the wrong drug
- Pharmacist judgment errors: improper or no counseling, failure to detect drug interactions, and inadequate drug use review
Injuries and deaths from pharmacy errors
The Institute of Medicine warns that on average patients experience one medication error a day. The bulk of fatal errors occur in elderly patients – usually those over the age of 65. Dosing errors with blood thinners and narcotics have been associated with a number of fatalities — deaths that could have been avoided had pharmacists carried out their duty of care.
Just over 86 percent of pharmacy malpractice lawsuits are filed based on “mechanical errors” such as dispensing the wrong medication, dosage form, directions, quantity, or strength of medicine. With one-third of Americans on at least five different medications, and a growing number of baby boomers on meds, there is a startling increase for potential error.
Shocking reports involving medication errors continue to flood the media. Just last year, a 92-year old woman was mistakenly given the wrong dosage of Oxycontin – and ingested 30 times the normal amount. What began as a routine treatment for a bacterial infection turned into a nightmare for her family, as the patient slipped into a coma and died several months later. The victim’s family settled their claim with the pharmacist and physicians involved in her care, as all parties failed to catch the fatal mistake.
The abundance of errors by pharmacists has fueled litigation across the country, as pharmacies may be held liable for mistakes that cause injuries or death to their patients. Pharmacists face claims filed by patients demanding monetary damage awards in addition to actions brought by regulatory agencies that can revoke their professional licensure.
Damages sought in a pharmacist malpractice suit may include compensation for related medical bills, disability, pain, suffering, emotional trauma and lost wages. In some instances, though rarely, additional punitive damages may be awarded to deter future similar conduct and punish the defendant for their misconduct.
Regardless if they are employed in a public hospital, clinic or drug store, a pharmacist has a duty of care that is owed to the patient. In the event that a mistake is made that causes patient injury, an attorney will need to demonstrate that this duty of care has been breached.
The harsh reality is that pharmacy errors happen every day, negatively affecting the lives of patients and their loved ones. At The Sanders Firm, our team of NY medical malpractice lawyers will hold pharmacists and pharmacy chains accountable for the debilitating injuries or wrongful death their actions have caused.
Veteran New York medical malpractice lawyers
The Sanders Firm boasts an in-house network of medical consultants who are well-versed in the disastrous repercussions of pharmacy malpractice. Our seasoned legal team can accurately determine whether your pharmacist failed to adhere to accepted industry practices, and will diligently fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our reputation as one of New York’s premier malpractice law firms rests on a long history of multi-million dollar settlement negotiations and jury verdicts. If you have suffered serious injury from pharmacy errors, an experienced malpractice attorney can be instrumental in helping you secure maximum damages.
For a free and confidential case review, call us toll-free at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY or contact us online. With convenient office locations throughout New York, we represent clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Long Island.
- FOX News DC, FOX 5 Investigates: Medication mistakes that can kill, http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/22821212/fox-5-investigates-medication-mistakes-that-can-kill#axzz2sXoe1gFA
- CNN Health, Don't be a victim of pharmacy errors, http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/25/pharmacy.errors/
- Forbes, The Shocking Truth About Medication Errors, http://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2013/09/03/the-shocking-truth-about-medication-errors/