Have you ever heard the phrase, “the cure is worse than the disease?” That’s particularly true when pharmacy errors happen. The wrong drug — or the wrong dose — can destroy your health entirely or even kill you.
Take, for example, the lawsuit filed in South Dakota by the family members of a well-known disability advocate against Walgreens over a pharmaceutical error. The pharmacist made a mistake and filled the man’s new heart medication with a 90-day supply of 500 pills instead of the 126 his doctor ordered. The pharmacy also omitted the doctor’s instructions about increasing the dose at four levels over time. Even worse, the pharmacy refilled the drug before it was time and still forgot to include the tiered dosing instructions.
Unaware he was taking too much medication, the victim suffered a toxic reaction that led to multi-organ failure and a prolonged, agonizing and utterly unnecessary death.
To protect yourself from pharmacy errors, remember the following:
- Keep a list of all your medications, including dosages. Include vitamins, herbal remedies and nonprescription drugs on the list. Make sure that your doctor and pharmacist both have the list.
- Know the names of all your drugs, your dosage and why you are taking them. If the dose changes, make sure you know why.
- Check every prescription. Make sure that the pills are correct, and the dosage instructions are clear and match up to what your doctor told you in the office.
- If you have any questions or doubts about a prescription, call your doctor and your pharmacist, and don’t take any pills until you get clearance.
If you are injured due to a pharmacy error or your loved one is killed, you have a right to ask for compensation. Find out how an experienced advocate can help you assert your legal rights.