PHARMACY ERROR: ODDS ARE YOU HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE A VICTIM

By Scott Robelen

Have you noticed that in the last five years virtually every other commercial on television is for some prescription medication?  One minute it is for some disease called ED, the next it is for something called PAD or OAB, and so on.  Getting a prescription, which often only masks a symptom, is no longer a matter left within the sound judgment of your doctor.  Now, pharmaceutical companies are selling directly to you, and your doctor has become nothing more than a rubber stamp of approval — approval that is deemed necessary because most drugs have side effects.  This direct marketing campaign has led to an explosion in the number of prescriptions written each year.  Along with an increase in the number of prescriptions comes an even greater increase in the mistakes made by pharmacies filling those scripts.  With more than 270 million prescriptions filled each year, it is estimated that 3 percent are filled incorrectly.  That amounts to 810,000 victims of pharmacy error every year!!  In actuality, the error rate is probably closer to 7 percent, which amounts to over a million and a half victims of pharmacy error every year!!  

1.  WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ERRORS?

The most common pharmacy errors involve the actual filling of the script, not by the pharmacist, but rather by the pharmacy tech, who is a person with six weeks of training and a high school diploma.  Most commonly, the tech will simply put the wrong medicine in the bottle.  Of course, putting tablets with the incorrect dosage into the bottle could also have dire consequences.  Finally, giving you an oral medication that should be injected could provide little or none of the intended benefit.

2.  WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON RESULTS OF THESE MISTAKES?

Most commonly, victims of pharmacy mistakes suffer only minor injury.  This injury can range from prolonged or needless suffering from the condition for which the script was written (for example, infection) because the condition is now left untreated to sickness caused by a medication that was unnecessary or contraindicated due to other medications or a victim’s medical condition.  Of course, in the most extreme cases, permanent injury or even death can result from simple pharmacy error.

3.  WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN A VICTIM?

If you or someone you love has been a victim of pharmacy negligence, no matter what the result (even a simple stomach ache), you are probably entitled to compensation.  We at the firm of Bailey and Galyen work closely with attorneys (who are also registered pharmacists) who handle these cases exclusively to make sure our clients’ needs are met with efficiency and diligence.  If you think you have a claim for injury, illness or sickness caused by the mistake of your pharmacy, we urge you to call or e-mail ATTORNEY SCOTT ROBELEN immediately.  He is the managing attorney in our Dallas office and also our board-certified managing attorney for Texas personal injury litigation.  His telephone number is 1-866-378-4705 and his e-mail address is srobelen@galyen.

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