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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

Drug Shortages—One Cause of Medication Mistakes

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing personal injury, pharmacy error, and overtime law

Drug shortages are a concern nationwide and have appeared to be a widespread issue for the last several years. Because medication shortages are an ongoing issue, a survey of pharmacy directors was taken that focuses on how drug shortages affect patient care.

The results of this study were published in the November/December 2013 issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. The 193 pharmacy directors who took this survey believe that the drug shortages have led to the following issues:

  • Medication errors
  • Adverse events
  • Patients complaints
  • Increase institutional costs

The survey was conducted via email from October 2–23 of 2012. Pharmacy directors who are members of the MedAssets Pharmacy Group Purchasing Organization and who volunteered to take this survey answered multiple choice questions about the effects of drug shortages. Most of those who responded stated the common drugs they were short on were anesthetics, antiemetics, and electrolytes/total parenteral nutrition.

The results of the survey are as follows:

  • 174 pharmacy directors indicated that possible or probable negative events related to drug shortages had occurred. (41.4 percent of those surveyed reported one to five adverse events had occurred, while 42 percent reported no such events had occurred).
  • 183 pharmacy directors indicated that medication errors. (53 percent of those surveyed indicated that one to ten errors had occurred, while 2.2 percent reported that over 30 medication errors had occurred). Omission, dispensing, or administering the wrong dose and filling or administering the wrong medication were the most common errors reported on the survey.
  • 134 pharmacy directors reported that a delay in care occurred due to drug shortages. (56.5 percent reported one to five delays occurred, 22.1 percent indicated six to ten delays happened, and 21.4 percent stated over ten delays in patient care occurred as a result of drug shortages).
  • 60 pharmacy directors reported that care was cancelled due to medication shortages. (88.3 percent indicated one to ten cases of cancelled procedures, surgeries, chemotherapy, or other treatments occurred due to drug shortages).
  • Costs from drug shortages have risen, according to survey respondents. (73 percent stated costs were greater than $100,000. Almost 75 percent of those surveyed reported increased costs due to drug shortages, and over one-third of survey respondents reported that half of an extra full-time employee was needed to manage drug shortages

Unfortunately, the safety of patients could be affected due to drug shortages. Not only will shortages cause patients to not receive the drug they need, but they may get a different medication to replace the drug in shortage—possibly causing an adverse reaction. Sadly, when the right drug cannot be found, alternative medication is considered, which sometimes results in delayed care or cancellation of treatment.

Obviously there is a demand for medicine, and the reality is that drug shortages can negatively impact patients. Please feel free to share this article with others you know and love on Facebook, so they can be aware of the impact of drug shortages in our nation.