Last February, NBC New York’s I-Team conducted an investigation on incorrect prescriptions and found disturbing results. There’s no concrete system in place to track pharmacy errors.
This makes people like Cheryl McGuire, featured on the report, among the victims of an estimated 30 to 50 million cases of incorrect prescriptions every year. A prescription for an inflamed muscle turned into unwanted hair loss. Even her mother thought that four pills twice a day from the local Wal-Mart was a tad too much.
In light of this, Sen. Jeff Klein (D-District 34) urged more accountability for pharmacists by moving to push for legislation. There are no known bills in the legislative pipeline as of this writing.
Compared to the other effects of incorrect prescriptions, hair loss may as well be the least of a person’s worries. Recently, in Illinois, a five-year-old child nearly died after taking two doses of an antipsychotic drug instead of an anti-allergy one. Doctors pointed out that one more dose could’ve spelled disaster for him.
Neither New York nor Illinois have laws that require retail pharmacies like Wal-Mart to report prescription errors. Even in the early years of the issue, the Food and Drug Administration only received no more than 30,000 reports of medication errors. Assuming hardly anything changed from that time, that’s only 0.06 to 0.1 percent of the estimated 30 to 50 million cases.
Despite this, injured parties can still seek compensation with the help of experienced New York City medical malpractice lawyers from firms like The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein. Pharmacies must have no room for life-threatening errors, as the public relies on them to dispense the right medications. A simple mix-up of the medication names, coupled with the lack of double-checking, can prove fatal.
Whether it’s a pharmacy or hospital in the wrong, a good New York City medical malpractice attorney can help with your case. While it pays to double-check your prescription before taking a dose, it’s not your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the prescription and medicine itself but the provider’s. Pharmacy or prescription errors that resulted in serious complications on an individual’s health or overall well-being have a strong claim.
I-Team: Millions of Prescriptions Filled Incorrectly Each Year, NBC New York, February 11, 2015
2 Investigators: Boy Almost Dies After Prescription Misfilled, CBS Chicago, May 6, 2015