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Misfilled Prescriptions Lead to Serious Consequences

Misfilled Prescriptions Lead to Serious Consequences

Medical Malpractice

Despite pharmacy chains having spent billions on improving safety, implementing the latest technology, and other necessary improvements, errors still occur when prescriptions are being filled. While these errors constitute less than 1% of all prescriptions filled in the US, they still represent millions of instances when the medication prescribed was not the medication received. An aging American population means even more prescriptions being filled in the future, potentially increasing the overall number of errors.

Corporate Policies Affect Pharmacists

According to an investigation conducted by USA Today, corporate policies play a part in incorrectly filled prescriptions. Some of these policies encourage very fast turnover in the pharmacy, resulting in pharmacists being responsible for filling many dozens, or even hundreds, of prescriptions every shift. This allowed trends to develop that set the stage perfectly for pharmacists to become overwhelmed and make mistakes. These trends included:

  • Overworked, overwhelmed staff working long shifts without the benefit of proper breaks
  • Emphasis on expedited service, with some chain pharmacies determining that a prescription should be able to be properly filled in just two minutes
  • Overreliance on technicians that receive less training and lower pay than licensed pharmacists
  • Lack of proper pharmacist oversight for technician-filled prescriptions, often resulting in miscalculated dosages and filling prescriptions with the wrong drug
  • Incentives for pharmacists based on increases in prescription volume
  • Lack of proper patient counseling about new prescriptions

Even in cases where safety systems are put in place to avoid these types of problems, human error still makes it possible for incorrectly filled prescriptions to reach patients.

Medical Malpractice and Misfilled Prescriptions

When health care providers are negligent, grave injury, or even death, may be the result. In the case of incorrectly filled prescriptions, the pharmacist or pharmacy may be held liable for damages that result from improper dosages and incorrect medications. Often, when medical malpractice has occurred, damages can be assessed for lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, lost wages, and household services. However, it can be difficult to hold the responsible parties liable without the help of an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer.

Chicago medical malpractice lawyers can help protect the rights of those injured through the negligence of Illinois medical professionals. The issues surrounding medical malpractice suits can be very complex. Without proper legal representation, it may prove impossible to collect damages in a medical malpractice case involving misfilled prescriptions.