Prescription and Medication Errors

prescription medication errors

Modern medications save lives every day, but the power of these drugs can turn very harmful if they are not prescribed and administered properly. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that patients get the correct drugs and dosages for their conditions. However, medical negligence such as a misdiagnosis can cause serious and potentially deadly medication errors.

At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., our medical malpractice attorneys represent clients in a wide range of personal injury lawsuits, including those involving prescription drug errors. We have the experience, skill and resources to help you pursue full and fair compensation for the losses you have suffered. In one medical malpractice case, our attorneys represented a child who suffered kidney damage after a prescription drug error. After a five-day trial, our client received a verdict of $15 million for past and future medical costs and other expenses.

Why Do Medication Errors Happen?

Medication errors frequently result from preventable negligence or wrongdoing on the part of a doctor, pharmacist or another medical professional. The following are common examples of medical negligence that causes medication errors:

  • Misdiagnosis. If your physician diagnoses your condition incorrectly, he or she may prescribe an unnecessary medication. In these cases, the wrong drug may cause your condition to worsen or produce dangerous side effects. Alternatively, a misdiagnosis may result in your doctor failing to prescribe a necessary drug that would be beneficial to you. In either case, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
  • Miscommunication. Even if your doctor prescribes the correct drugs, lack of communication between other medical staff may cause dangerous medication errors. Overdoses, underdoses and the wrong medication altogether often result from medical staff rushing or ignoring prescription safety procedures.
  • Understaffing. When hospitals do not hire enough qualified staff to treat the volume of patients, medical errors are more likely. If overworking or fatigue results in a medication error, you may have a case for hospital negligence.
  • Incorrect instructions. If a doctor, nurse or pharmacist gives you medication to take on your own, he or she must give you accurate, complete instructions. If they neglect this duty, injuries can result, even if you are taking the right medication for your condition.
  • Failure to warn. Many prescription drugs come with inherent risks. In most cases, doctors and pharmacists know the possible negative side effects and must warn you about them to prevent injury.
  • Other medical negligence. Overdoses and other medication errors may result from any physician errors. Doctors may fail to check medical records to ensure that a new drug will not cause an allergic reaction or interact poorly with your current medications. Otherwise, hospital workers or pharmacists may incorrectly label dosages or similar-sounding drugs.

Are Medication Errors Always the Result of Medical Malpractice?

In order to file a medical malpractice case for a medication error, you must prove that your doctor, nurse or pharmacist failed to follow the proper standard of care that a reasonable medical professional would have under similar circumstances. Often, medication errors are preventable by competent medical care. This means that you may be able to file a medical malpractice case against the doctor or hospital responsible for the mistake.

However, it is possible for other parties to share responsibility for your medical injury. For example, drug companies must inform medical professionals of any and all risks associated with a given medication. This includes dangerous and deadly side-effects. Additionally, these companies must follow all safety and manufacturing protocols maintained by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). If injuries result from defective drugs or inaccurate medication information, the pharmaceutical company may be liable in any subsequent personal injury lawsuits rather than the prescribing doctors.

Hurt by a Bad Drug? Get a Free Consultation with Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Regardless of the reason behind your injury, our experienced medical malpractice can defend your rights. Our lawyers have handled numerous medication error cases and are familiar with the American Pharmaceutical Association standards and other laws that govern prescription drug treatment. We use our skill and experience to seek compensation for our clients’ losses, including medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a prescription drug error, we are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania or New Jersey medical negligence attorney. We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis. We have offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we accept cases nationwide.