Prescription Error: Who is at Fault?


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A prescription error occurs when the right patient fails to receive the right medication or the right dose of the right medication because of a mistake made by a pharmacist, doctor or hospital. It is estimated that at least 1.5 million people in hospitals are affected by prescription drug errors each year.  Many more are affected by outpatient prescription errors.

Prescription Error Liability

A prescription error can be the fault of the pharmacist, the doctor or anyone on their staffs.  Many drugs have similar names and the doctor, the pharmacist, or the receptionist can get confused and write down the wrong name of the drug.  Similarly, the doctor may write down the correct name of the drug but the pharmacist may misread the doctor’s handwriting and the wrong drug may be dispensed.

Sometimes a prescription error occurs because of a doctor’s failure to prescribe the correct medication for a specific patient. For example, a doctor may not account for a patient’s known and documented drug allergies, preexisting conditions or other prescription medications.

Which Medical Parties are at Fault?

Doctors, pharmacists and hospitals may be liable for damages that occur because of prescription errors.  A doctor, pharmacist, or hospital can be found liable for medical, or pharmacy, malpractice if they failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted given the circumstances and their error caused the patient physical harm.

Proving a Prescription Error and Lawyer Help

Prescription errors can lead to significant harm for a patient.  Patients trust their doctors, pharmacists and hospitals to provide them with a drug that is safe for them and intended to treat their conditions.  When that does not happen, patients may suffer serious, or even fatal, complications from prescription drug errors.

In order to prove that a prescription error occurred and to recover damages, it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can help you evaluate your case and recover damages from the defendant(s) who are liable for your injuries.

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