Pharmacy Malpractice & Prescription Error Lawyer | Scott Goodwin Law

Michigan Incorrect Prescription Lawyer

Medical Malpractice

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Prescription medication is an increasingly common part of our lives. Between 1998 and 2016, the total number of prescriptions filled in the United States grew by 85%. A 2019 survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found that nearly 46% of the U.S. had taken prescription medication within the previous 30 days.

It’s estimated that over 2.3 million dispensing errors are made at pharmacies across the country every year and with all those prescriptions being issued, pharmacies will inevitably make mistakes while filling them. (Source: CBS 11 Dallas)

One of the most frequent types of dispensing errors involve patients mistakenly being given the wrong drug. Some drugs have names that sound very similar or are spelled very similarly to the names of other prescription drugs. These sound-alike and look-alike drugs make it very easy for pharmacists to mistakenly give a patient the wrong drug. For example, prescriptions for clonidine, a type of blood pressure medication, are often mistakenly filled with Klonopin or clonazepam, both of which are used to treat seizures, panic disorders, and anxiety. Another common mistake is issuing clomipramine, a drug used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, instead of clomiphene, a type of infertility drug.

Incorrect dosages are another very common problem in pharmacies. If a decimal point is in the wrong place or if a zero is overlooked, patients can receive too much or too little of a medication.

Just because these kinds of errors may be easy to make, that doesn’t mean they’re acceptable. The consequences of these mistakes can be absolutely devastating. Pharmacy dispensing errors have been known to result in drug overdoses, cause organ damage, and cause a wide range of other health complications. Some dispensing errors have even been fatal.

Even as electronic prescriptions become more common and other high-tech measures are used to prevent dispensing errors, mistakes are still happening. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a pharmacy dispensing error, don’t hesitate to contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. These kinds of cases can be complex and it’s important to have someone on your side who truly understands the law and can fight for your best interests. Contact Scott Goodwin Law P.C. today for help with your case.

Causes of Pharmacy Dispensing Errors

  • Transcription/inputting errors

  • Pharmacist distraction

  • Mistakenly dispensing drugs with similar names

  • Incorrect dosages caused by misplaced zeros or decimal points

  • Disorganized work areas

  • Overworked staff

  • Failing to confirm illegible/ambiguous information on prescriptions

  • Incorrect directions on the label

  • Missed drug and allergy interactions

  • Compounding mistakes

Where Dispensing Errors Most Commonly Occur

  • Independent/individually owned pharmacies

  • National/regional chain pharmacies

  • Hospital inpatient pharmacies

Source: Drug Topics