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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.

Dispensing Insulin: A Common Type of Medication Error

Galvin B. Kennedy
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing personal injury, pharmacy error, and overtime law
Posted on Apr 19, 2014

Insulin is vital for diabetics as it controls blood sugars and manages hyperglycemia. However, according to research over the last several years, insulin has been linked to more medication errors than any other type of drug. In fact, there are approximately 23.6 million Americans that have diabetes mellitus, which is about eight percent of the population. Among adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, 14 percent take insulin and 13 percent take both insulin and oral medications.

With the large numbers of people taking insulin, it’s no wonder why medication errors among diabetics occur frequently. According to a study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority on state hospitals, researchers found dispensing insulin to be among the most common types of medication errors made. The results include:

  • Pharmacies gave the wrong kind of insulin out to 20 percent of patients
  • Pharmacies handed out the wrong mix of insulin to 18.4 percent of patients
  • Pharmacies made 17.4 percent of mistakes as a result of misreading the handwritten prescription

According to the American Diabetes Association, since there are 13 types of insulin on the market there are many brand names that can be easily mistaken for one another such as Novolog and Novolin, or Hummulin and Humalog. While drug mix-ups do occur among the different types of insulin, the most common type of insulin medication-related errors include drug omission and wrong-drug errors, according to the Pennsylvania Safety Authority. Of the reported events, patients have received:

  • wrong dose of insulin
  • no dose of insulin
  • overdose of insulin
  • underdosage of insulin
  • extra dose of insulin

When medication errors with insulin occur, it can lead to trouble with glycemic control for diabetics. As a result of this study, researchers indicated that the variety of insulin products should be limited, standardized protocols should be developed, abbreviations should never be used when ordering insulin, and health care professionals should always double check prior to dispensing insulin.