If your pharmacy makes a mistake and hands you another person’s prescription the results could be a serious injury, and in some cases, fatal. Side effects of a medication that is not prescribed for you can cause you to suffer nausea, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, and other dangerous symptoms. You may also be unable to function at work.
Case in Point
After picking up an antibiotic prescription at her pharmacy, Gwen Stalley had no idea that the pharmacy incorrectly dispensed Trazodone, an anti-depressant. This mix up caused her to take the Trazodone three times a day, according to the directions on the bottle labeled Flagyl. Stalley went about her daily routine as a school bus driver. But the incorrect medicine made her so weak in the legs and so dizzy, she had to pull her loaded bus over and radio for a driver to come and finish her route. How awful could this have been if she had passed out while driving a school bus loaded with children?
Why Complaints to Pharmacy Boards Fall on Deaf Ears
Stalley made a complaint to the Board of Pharmacy, but no one will ever know what happened as a result unless the board decides to discipline the pharmacist. While it takes a year, and in some cases more, for pharmacy boards to even investigate claims, the statute of limitations is running while you wait for a response from the pharmacy board in your state. Many times, pharmacists are only sent a “Letter of Concern”, and the public cannot know which pharmacists or pharmacies have files or groups of these letters. If a pharmacist or pharmacy is fined for medication errors, this is public information. Any other complaints are kept secret. In this case, CVS in Georgia was fined $75,000 dollars for having too many technicians on staff and not enough pharmacists.
It Can Happen to You
People can go to the same pharmacy for years and be the victim of pharmacy malpractice. In Georgia, a pharmacist is only allowed to supervise three technicians. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution studied the errors on record at the Georgia Pharmacy Board and they discovered that it takes one to two years before any disciplinary action is given to the pharmacist/pharmacy. By the time the pharmacy board gets around to reviewing your case, you have let the time expire when you could take legal action. This means you will be legally responsible for your own medical bills and costs from their mistake if you don’t take legal action.
The Statute of Limitations vs. Pharmacy Boards
If you are the victim of a pharmacy medication error, then you need appropriate legal representation. Pharmacies and pharmacy boards are too secretive in their dealings with the public. The pharmacies themselves are looking at their reputation and their bottom line. Seats on the pharmacy boards are filled by representatives of pharmacy corporations.
A simple typographical mistake or a visual misinterpretation because labels, names or the pills themselves look very similar, are all errors that can mean life and death. No matter how crowded or busy the store is, or how tired the pharmacist may be, he or she still has a duty of care to ensure patients get the right drug at the right dose and that those drugs will do no harm.
If you or a loved one were harmed because of a medication error order our free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay For Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn how to take action against these errors today. You can also call 888-526-7616 to have our pharmacy error attorneys review your case for free.