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Medication Errors in Michigan

November 22, 2021

It seems wherever you turn, you hear about worker shortages. This situation exists in pharmacies just like other businesses. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a nationwide shortage of pharmacists, with many pharmacies and drugstores desperately trying to find workers.

Now, in addition to filling prescriptions, pharmacy employees must also administer COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. As a result, there simply aren’t enough staff to handle this excessive workload. When there are staffing shortages, a business owner or manager can do one of two things: close the pharmacy or ask pharmacists to work extra hours. Extra work means fatigued pharmacy staff. This can result in dangerous mistakes.

Research shows that 7,000 to 9,000 people die every year in the U.S. due to a medication error. Plus, hundreds of thousands of other patients experience but often don’t report an adverse reaction or other complications related to a medication. Pharmacy patients can suffer mental and physical injury as a result of medication errors.

Can Pharmacists be Sued for Their Mistakes?

Yes. A pharmacist and pharmacy can be responsible for injury and death if carelessness causes preventable harm. Similar to doctors and other healthcare professionals, pharmacists have a legal obligation or duty to use sound professional judgment and proper care in filling prescriptions.

If a pharmacist commits a preventable error due to inattention, carelessness, fatigue, inexperience, or other negligence that results in patient harm, the pharmacist may be held liable for the patient’s injuries.

What are the Most Common Types of Pharmacy Mistakes?

A lot of medications can be dangerous if they are dispensed in the wrong dosage or when they’re taken with certain other drugs. Here are some of the most common types of pharmacy errors that have the potential to lead to patient injury:

  • Drug confusion. There are a lot of drugs with similar names, and these medications can be mixed up by a pharmacist misreading the prescription or filling it incorrectly.
  • Dosage errors. Another frequent mistake that can be caused by an inattentive or fatigued pharmacist is dosage error or dispensing a medication in the incorrect strength. As a result, a pharmacist may give a patient too much or too little of their prescribed medication. In either event, this mistake can cause many adverse effects.
  • Communication errors. Pharmacists are required to discuss with patients how to take the medication, the proper dosage, and potential side effects. But there can be communication errors between pharmacists and patients. In addition, a pharmacist must confirm a patient’s allergies, whether he or she is taking other medications, and discuss warnings and the instructions for the medication’s use.

Pharmacy Mistakes may be Negligence

If a mistake by a pharmacy results in harm to a patient, the injured victim may have the right to bring a pharmacy error lawsuit and seek compensation.

A pharmacist must use his or her professional training and knowledge to review the prescription order, determine if the prescribed medication would cause any adverse interactions with other drugs, and provide counseling to the patient about using the drug. The failure of a pharmacist to take these required actions when dispensing a prescription may cause a patient to suffer an adverse reaction or an overdose, which can result in serious injuries. If this happens you should talk to an experienced Michigan pharmacy malpractice attorney.

Takeaway

If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to pharmacy error, you should speak with an attorney at Buchanan Firm.

For a free consultation with an experienced Michigan pharmacy malpractice attorney, contact Buchanan Firm. We can discuss your situation if you believe you’ve been seriously injured as the result of a mistake by a pharmacy or a pharmacist.

Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital to accommodate you.