The lawyers at Kennedy Hodges have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who have suffered an injury after receiving the wrong prescription, wrong dosage or incorrect instructions for use. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
CVS Pharmacy is one of the most popular pharmacy chains throughout Texas. Many patients use CVS as their preferred pharmacy because of the chain’s popularity, convenience, and branding.
However, just because a pharmacy is popular doesn’t mean it’s infallible. In fact, over the past five years, CVS has discreetly settled dozens of cases where customers received:
- Incorrect medication. Customers were given medication that looked similar to the pills they should have received, or medications that have similar names to the medicines they were actually prescribed.
- Incorrect dosage of medications. Misread orders caused pharmacists to fill inappropriate dosages of drugs. Rather than 5 milligrams, a prescription might be filled with 50 milligram pills; or instead of 100 mg pills, the prescription was filled with 10 mg pills.
- Incorrect labeling and instructions. Mistyped or poorly read instructions lead to labeling errors such as encouraging the customer to take two pills once a day instead of one pill every two days.
Fortunately, many of these errors go unnoticed because the patient suffers no lasting harm. Those errors that are noticed by customers tend to be “fixed” with an apology and a new fill of the prescription medication. However, for some customers, an apology isn’t enough to heal the damage that the error caused.
Filing a Claim Against Pharmacy Error
It’s an unfortunate truth that pharmacies make mistakes from time to time and hope that customers will either ignore the mix-up or accept an apology and move along. Be that as it may, after representing thousands of individuals who have suffered from pharmacy errors, Kennedy Hodges, LLP knows that you deserve more than an apology: you deserve peace of mind.
Here are a few reasons you might want to consider a prescription drug error lawsuit:
- Your troubles may not be over. It’s hard to tell how long the effects of a medication mistake can last. Your insurance may provide for your needs now but may not cover a long-term condition.
- If it happened once, it could happen again. One benefit of a drug error case is identifying why the error happened—and how the company can keep it from happening to someone else in the future.
- Pharmacists care about people; pharmacies care about money. Your pharmacist may be a kind and caring person who made a mistake, but he may not be the problem. The company he works for will not change the way it does business unless it is forced to—and that means paying you for the company’s mistake.
For more invaluable legal advice on your pharmacy prescription mistake, contact the attorneys at Kennedy Hodges today at 888-526-7616. We will be happy to evaluate your case FREE of charge. To read more about prescription error cases, request a FREE copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
- I was given the wrong medicine by a CVS pharmacist, but I failed to check it before I took it. Can I still hold the pharmacy liable for my medical bills?
- After a prescription mix-up at CVS, who should I report the incident to?
- How do I know if the medications I’m taking could interact with each other and cause me harm?
Yes. You can still hold the pharmacy responsible. It may have never occurred to you that a pharmacist could give you the wrong medication, fill the wrong dosage, or provide you with the wrong instructions. As a consumer, you trust the experts to give you the correct prescription. Unfortunately, medication mistakes at CVS pharmacies and many other chain pharmacies occur far too often.
Although we strongly stress that every customer should double check their medication to make sure their pills are the right name, color, and strength, it is ultimately the pharmacist’s responsibility to get you the correct medicine. Unfortunately, many pharmacy technicians are now filling prescriptions, which has led to many misfilled prescriptions. While pharmacists are supposed to check every prescription technicians fill, they have been known to miss things and make mistakes.
If you suffered any medical bills or injuries as a result of receiving the wrong medication, you should definitely receive compensation from the pharmacy involved. You may need compensation for your emergency room visit, hospital stay, surgical costs, prescription costs, rehabilitation, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering. Additionally, if you had to miss work and lost out on wages, you should also be able to make a financial recovery for lost income.
To learn about other damages you may be entitled to in a CVS pharmacy claim, order your free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
If you have been harmed as a result of the prescription mix-up, you should definitely file a claim with your State Board of Pharmacy. Even if you didn’t suffer an injury, you should still speak up if you received the wrong medication, expired medication, incorrect dosage of drugs, wrong information with your prescription, or if you were counseled by a pharmacy technician instead of a pharmacist. However, if your complaint is regarding billing or prescription costs, the board of pharmacy doesn’t handle complaints of that nature.
By speaking up about your prescription mix-up and pharmacy error that occurred at your local CVS pharmacy, you will be making a difference. It is always best to speak out about pharmacy mistakes so that a similar mistake doesn’t happen to someone else. While the board will look into your claim and launch an investigation to evaluate your incident, it may take some time. Although your complaint will get noted, many pharmacy boards don’t have the headcount to inspect each and every pharmacy complaint.
You should also file a complaint with CVS, and you should consider filing a prescription error lawsuit if you incurred any medical expenses as a result of a pharmacy error. By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to collect for your medical bills, injuries, and pain and suffering. To find out if you have a CVS pharmacy claim, you can order a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
If you are taking multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, it is important to learn about possible drug interactions. The good news is that you are already aware that taking multiple drugs could cause harm and interact with each other. But did you know that even herbals, vitamins, and dietary supplements can also interact with different medications?
Important Steps to Take
Anytime you take multiple medications there is the potential for harmful drug interactions. Because of this, you should take the following steps anytime you are prescribed a new medication or purchase an over-the-counter drug:
- Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your pharmacist.
- Read the package insert and label for potential drug interactions.
- Pay attention to the active ingredient.
- Take your medications as directed, with the right food or beverage.
- When in doubt, ask questions.
Helpful Questions to Ask
Some of the questions you should ask your doctor or pharmacist includes:
- Can I take this medication with the drugs I’m currently taking?
- Are there possible drug interactions I should know about and watch for?
- How should I take this drug?
- Do I need to avoid drinking alcohol or eating certain foods?
- Do you have the package insert or other literature about this medication that I can read?
The best advice is to talk with your doctor and pharmacist about all the drugs you are currently taking to make sure certain medications won’t interact with each other and cause you harm. However, be aware that doing this isn’t foolproof. Doctors and pharmacists can make mistakes. If the pharmacist at your local CVS pharmacy made a dangerous drug interaction error, you may have a CVS pharmacy claim for damages. To learn about your rights, order a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
Pharmacists and pharmacy techs are not the same, even though it may seem that they are doing the same job behind the counter. While large pharmacy chains like CVS would like patients to think pharmacists and pharmacy technicians do the same job, the reality is that pharmacists have way more training and experience—which means they are more expensive to employ. Because CVS, Walgreens and other pharmacies want to save money, they want to replace more pharmacists with techs.
While it is true that both pharmacy techs and pharmacists mix medications, pour medications, dispense medications, and check for accuracy, pharmacists are in charge of pharmacy technicians and are ultimately the ones who have the final say. Their job duties overlap because they both deal with physicians, insurance companies, and patients. Because they sometimes do the same job duties, it can cause confusion for those on the outside of the pharmacy counter.
The difference between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is that techs ultimately assist pharmacists and that pharmacists have to double check a tech’s work for accuracy before a customer receives the medication a tech dispensed. The other big difference is that techs might only have a high school diploma and a year of training, whereas pharmacists go through a four-year program and know a great deal more about medications than technicians do. Pharmacists are the only ones who can counsel patients and answer all the questions customers have regarding their medications, and techs are not allowed to do this job.
This is why there are rules in place in some states that require one pharmacist for every pharmacy tech, but certain states allow up to three techs to every pharmacist. If that wasn’t enough, large pharmacy chains like CVS are looking to help change those rules and allow pharmacists to oversee even more techs.
If you think you have a pharmacy malpractice case against a pharmacy tech, pharmacist, or CVS pharmacy, we encourage you to order a free copy of our book: How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
It is a sad reality, but the truth is that approximately 51 million pharmacy mistakes occur every year in this nation. Sometimes people are seriously injured, while others catch the mistakes made by pharmacists before anything negative happens. It sounds like you possibly caught the dosage mistake before taking the pill. If this is correct, you don’t have a claim for damages; however, you should still take the following steps:
- Make notes regarding the date, time, and specific pharmacy the error took place at.
- Take down the name of the pharmacist who made the mistake.
- Report the pharmacy error to the CVS pharmacy manager.
- Report the medication mistake to the State Board of Pharmacy in writing.
If you took the medication and you aren’t sure if you have been harmed, you should take the above steps as well as these steps:
- Seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Keep the pill bottle for proof.
- Speak with a pharmaceutical malpractice attorney.
While you might not have a claim for your medical bills and damages if you weren’t physically harmed—it is still important to notify the State Board of Pharmacy of the dispensing error. If you live in Texas, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy can be reached at 800-821-3205 (option 5); however, your complaint needs to be made in writing. You can download a complaint form online or request one by calling the number listed above. If you live in another state, you can look up your Board of Pharmacy contact information and send them a written complaint about the incident.
To learn more about reporting an error to the Board of Pharmacy, we encourage you to browse our website to read other articles and frequently asked questions and answers, or to contact us directly.
Yes. It is always wise to take a couple of extra minutes at your local CVS pharmacy and ask for a consultation with the pharmacist. When you have the attention of a pharmacist, you can ask him or her question about your medication. The benefit of this is that the pharmacist could catch a mistake with your prescription that slipped by him or her earlier.
Pharmacists are there to help consumers and provide answers to their questions, so don’t be shy to ask for a consultation and run through a list of your medication questions. Some of the questions you might have can include:
- What is the brand-name as well as the generic name of this drug?
- How often am I supposed to take this medication? And for how long?
- What is the dosage/strength of this prescription?
- What are the possible side effects of this medication?
- How does the prescription work and what does it treat?
Although you may already know some of this information and some of the answers can be found on the container label, sometimes this information is incorrect. Unfortunately, medication mix-ups occur and technicians have been known to fill the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage of drugs. This is why it is important to ask the pharmacist these questions and compare the pharmacist’s answers to the information you received from your doctor about the prescription. If something doesn’t look right or add up, speak up!
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It may shock you to find out that you were given the wrong medication from your pharmacy. Then you will be flabbergasted to know that every day people receive incorrect drugs as a result of pharmacy negligence. Whether a pharmacist filled the wrong medicine, mixed up your prescription with another’s, or filled the wrong dosage of the correct drug—the effects can range from minor to severe.
What You Should Know About Medication Mistakes
After discovering that you have been taking the wrong prescription drugs, you should call the pharmacy to notify them of their mistake and ask them if there are any side effects you should watch out for. However, if you have already experienced a reaction or complication from taking the wrong meds, it is critical to your health that you seek medical care immediately. Talk to your doctor to find out just how serious this pharmacy error is and if you will have any long-term effects.
Additionally, don’t throw anything away, as it can serve as proof that you received the wrong medication. Keep everything you received—such as the pill bottle, instructions, and any remaining medication to be used as evidence in a potential claim against CVS. Do not accept compensation from a pharmacy when they call to apologize about the medication mix-up. Instead, you should contact a lawyer to find out more about your rights.
Sadly, serious harm can occur from taking the wrong prescription. If you have been the victim of a pharmacy error, you should call us today at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation to learn about your rights.
CVS was at the forefront of an investigation in New Jersey for commingled pills. It was found that five New Jersey locations, including Chatham, Budd Lake, Cherry Hill, Scotch Plains, and Rahway, gave patients the wrong medications and that many people received pill bottles with a mix of medicines in them.
It appears that these CVS drug mix-ups occurred because pharmacy employees ignored procedures and put unclaimed prescriptions back into the pharmacy’s stock, which is against pharmacy policy. Since some pills look like others, drugs ended up back into the wrong stock bottles due to employees’ negligence, which is how they ended up commingled in new prescriptions.
Additionally, some pharmacies used automated filling machines, which were loaded with the pills that had been improperly returned to the stock. Since then, CVS in New Jersey agreed to retrain their staff, improve quality assurance, conduct inspections, develop safer procedures, and pay $650,000 for a public education program to the state of New Jersey.
While they are doing their part to minimize wrong medications getting into the hands of consumers again, pharmacy errors will still occur at any pharmacy because humans make mistakes. Pharmacists across this nation are busier than ever and more pharmacy technicians are filling prescriptions, which has contributed to drug errors.
If you have been harmed due to a negligent pharmacist, contact Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 and find out if you have a CVS claim. We offer a no-cost consultation, and we will also give you a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
How often have you picked up your prescription from the local pharmacy and noticed that the person behind the counter looked barely old enough to drive? Do you wondered if the apprehension you feel when accepting your medication from a teenager should be dismissed as ageism…or is it a legitimate concern?
Well, you’re not alone in these thoughts. Hundreds of pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, employ workers as young as seventeen to work behind the pharmacy counter. This employment decision helps supply work opportunities for teenagers while also helping pharmacies keep costs down—younger workers are often paid less than career pharmacists. However, is it wise to trust inexperienced, young adults with prescription medications?
Legitimacy of Teenage Interns, Trainees, and Pharmacy Technicians
Many high schools and vocational colleges have job training programs that work with pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS. These programs allow young students to hold part-time pharmacy positions while giving them the opportunity to shadow pharmacists and learn more about the job. Some of the “training program” highlights include:
- Learning how to maintain a professional rapport with patients.
- Learning about cashiering and customer service.
- Learning how to notify patients of prescription changes.
- Learning about different types of medications.
- Learning how to dispense medications.
- Learning about various drug interactions.
- Learning how prescription insurance works and how to bill.
- Learning how to counsel patients about their medications.
If you see a high school student working at your local pharmacy, he is most likely an intern or cashier. However, some pharmacies hire teenagers and train them to become actual pharmacy technicians. Because more and more drugstore chains are relying on pharmacy technicians to fill prescriptions—again, it’s cheaper to pay technicians rather than actual pharmacists—teenagers may be the ones dispensing your medicine.
Risks of Pharmaceutical Inexperience
While pharmacies typically have double and even triple-check processes in place, pharmacists may not always catch mistakes that young pharmacy technicians have made. Sadly, these pharmacy errors can be serious when inexperience and immaturity cause:
- The incorrect medication to be dispensed.
- Incorrect dosages to be calculated.
- Incorrect medical equipment to be distributed.
- Incorrect medical advice to be given.
Any of these can cause the customer to experience dangerous—sometimes life-threatening—consequences.
We Can Help You Find the Best Available Recovery After a Prescription Error
If you have suffered the results of a medication mistake, call our pharmacy error law firm at 888-526-7616. We’ll provide you with a highly experienced and complimentary consultation, where we’ll discuss your case and your claim options. Don’t let a prescription mistake affect your future.
Let us use our extensive skills to help you get the compensation you need for your recovery. Call now!