When filling a prescription, we all trust our pharmacy to provide us with the right medication, at the right dosage, with the right instructions. In fact, the law requires that a pharmacy meet each of these requirements. If a pharmacy fails to meet each of these responsibilities, the pharmacy is negligent and should be held responsible for all the harm that error causes.
According to recent statistics published by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), there are over 1.3 million people injured each year due to medication errors. These mistakes are commonly made by stand-alone pharmacies but sometimes occur in a hospital setting.
Pharmacy errors are sometimes called medication dispensing errors or pharmacist errors. This may involve a pharmacist providing the wrong medication, dosage or instructions for use. Another type of pharmacy mistake involves dispensing a medication that is plainly “contraindicated” based on other medications a patient may be taking. Additionally, pharmacists have been known to incorrectly dispense a duplicate prescription. In all of these events, a pharmacy error is a violation of the law and the pharmacy can be held liable for resulting injuries and wrongful death.
Recent statistics indicate that between 2.2 million and 3.7 million medication dispensing errors (i.e., pharmacy errors or pharmacy mistakes) have occurred in the U.S. in each of the past eight years. Patients and customers should protect themselves by carefully reviewing any medication given to them, but also know that the responsibility to dispense proper medication lies with the pharmacies and hospitals.