Chicago Pharmacy Error Lawyer
Pharmacists have an essential role in patients' well-being. They fill physicians' prescriptions and keep track of all medications each patient takes to ensure that there are no potentially dangerous conflicts between different drugs prescribed by different doctors.
However, when pharmacists are negligent in their duty to consumers and an injury or fatality ensues, the pharmaceutical malpractice lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help families hold pharmacies responsible.
Our Chicago-based law firm has experience with pharmacy mistakes and medical malpractice cases across Illinois and is ready to assist you with getting the answers you deserve.
Call Our Chicago Medication Error Attorneys
Complete our online case intake form for a free consultation of your Chicago pharmacy error case. A skilled Illinois pharmacy injury lawyer will review the evidence and your health care information and advise you of your legal options for pursuing a lawsuit against a negligent pharmacy.
Our law office serves families in pharmacy error lawsuits across Illinois, and we can help you with your pharmacist malpractice case at no cost to you. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free consultation.
Like all of our personal injury and medical malpractice cases, we handle medication error cases involving pharmacies on a contingency fee basis where there is never a legal fee charged unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.
Contact us to discuss your cases with an experienced Chicago, IL medication error attorney today.
We are proud of the fact that we receive many of our current cases from satisfied clients who refer their friends and family to our office.
When you hire our law firm, you can also take comfort in the fact that our medication error lawyers are esteemed members of the legal bar. Some of our attorneys have been selected as 'Super Lawyers' and are members of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Frequency of Medication Errors Made by Pharmacists
About 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur every year in the U.S. Many of these events are attributable to errors made by pharmacists.
Pharmaceutical malpractice occurs when a pharmacist fills a prescription with the wrong medication or incorrect dosage. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP) defines medication errors as preventable events that lead to patient harm.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 82% of Americans take at least one prescription medication and 29% take five or more for their health. Many people use these medications, frequently combining several at one time.
There's a high risk of danger when these drugs are not given in the correct dosage, administered without proper instructions, or are not the prescribed drugs at all. The FDA found that 1.3 million people are injured every year due to medication errors at pharmacies in stores, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Pharmacists' Duty to Protect the Public From Harmful or Fatal Medication Errors and Misfills
Even relatively minor deviations from a prescribed course of medication can result in patient injury or death.
If you're in need of a medical malpractice lawyer in Illinois, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. We represent individuals who have been harmed or killed due to pharmacy error.
Our attorneys have experience prosecuting pharmacy errors under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act to recover compensation for the deceased individual's family members.
Common Chicago pharmacy errors include:
- Failing to advise or warn of potentially dangerous drug side effects
- Dispensing the wrong medications
- Incorrectly labeling prescription drugs
- Providing an incorrect medication dose where the wrong dosage could create catastrophic results
- Filling multiple prescriptions with known adverse reactions
- Failing to provide adequate instructions regarding the use of a drug
- Failing to discuss drug interactions with the patient when picking up the medication
Medical expert researchers conducted a study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, monitoring 140,755 prescription doses for medication mistakes, and 5,075 contained errors. Only 79% of these pharmaceutical errors were caught through verification.
Of the errors that were not caught, 23.5% had the potential to create adverse drug reactions, 28% of them serious. On average, an estimated four billion prescriptions are written in the United States.
Applying the case results of the study to the large number of prescriptions being filled every day reveals that the number of drugs leaving pharmacies with errors could be staggering.
A single prescription error made by medical professionals filling a prescription could cause the patient life-altering serious injuries or even death.
Pharmacy errors can occur at a retail chain, a mom and pop drug store, or even a hospital. Many doctor's offices and all hospitals have their own pharmacies that dispense medications.
Why Chains Make More Medication Errors
The problem in the pharmacy industry is that business is rapidly being consolidated into several large mega chains such as CVS and Walgreens. These companies answer to their shareholders and often do not have enough staff on hand to help customers and answer their questions.
Moreover, staff report that these workplaces have become chaotic and disorganized. Rushed pharmacists often do not take the time to make sure that they have gotten the prescription completely correct.
As a result, they are more likely to make a prescription error when they are rushing to fill as many orders as possible. These chains usually value efficiency over accuracy. One pharmacist in Texas even went so far as to inform a state regulatory board that she was "a danger to the public working at CVS."
Pharmacists Are Paid to Dispense Medications
Many pharmacists at the large chains report that they receive bonuses and are paid more based on how many prescriptions they fill.
As a result, doctors often report that they are badgered by pharmacists that ask them to refill prescriptions that patients do not ask for nor do they need. Presumably, this is in order for the pharmacy to bill more to the health insurance company.
Pharmacies even provide three-month supplies of certain dangerous medications such as psychiatric drugs that are recommended to be filled a month at a time to reduce the risk of an overdose.
The rush to dispense means that pharmacists are asking fewer questions and paying less attention to their job.
Pharmacy Error FAQs
Here are the answers to some common questions that our medication error lawyers are often asked.
Should you have additional questions, we welcome you to contact our prescription error law firm for a free consultation.
What is Error in Pharmacy?
Pharmacies are required to take measures by established protocols to prevent a dispensing error where discrepancies occur between the doctor’s prescription and the drug delivered by the pharmacy.
A dispensing error could include giving the drug to the wrong patient, giving out the wrong medicine, giving the wrong drug strength or the wrong drug quantity, at the wrong time, giving expired medicine, or other mistakes.
How do Drug Errors Affect Patients?
Medical mistakes are part of human error that could have been prevented. These errors tend to cause severe injury to the patient and possibly wrongful death.
Many patients who have experienced a severe injury as a result of a medication error also experience other problems, including emotional, psychological, or financial stress.
What to do if a Medication Error Occurs?
If a pharmacy fills a prescription incorrectly, and the patient takes the drug as ordered, they may experience a significant reaction that could produce life-threatening consequences.
If the pharmacy errors in filling the order, and the patient takes the medication, call poison control to gain information on what to do next.
The patient might have to seek urgent care for monitoring to ensure medical attention is quickly available should he or she have an immediate or long-term negative response.
Do Pharmacies Make Mistakes?
Pharmacies are run by the pharmacists, clerks, or others, who all make purely accidental mistakes. In some cases, the error is a result of negligence if the pharmacy is not following established protocols to prevent mistakes.
Unfortunately, pharmacy errors happen a lot. The pharmacist or clerk might fail to double-check the drug against the prescription before handing the order over to the patient, nursing home, or hospital.
Where do Most Medication Errors Occur?
A mistake involving the filling or dispensing of the medication can happen anywhere throughout the medical system. Many errors are the result of a doctor’s failure to write out a prescription precisely.
The pharmacist may fail to accurately transcribe the prescription and fill the order with the wrong drug, the wrong dosage, the wrong number of pills, or the wrong instructions.
The patient might take the drug at the wrong time, at the wrong dosage, or after the doctor has told him or her to stop taking the meds.
How do You Detect Medication Errors?
Detecting an adverse medication event is often revealed through direct observation. The pharmacist may check the prescription before filling the order or give the wrong orders to the patient when picking up the drug.
Some pharmacists, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and patients voluntarily report that a medication error has occurred. In catastrophic events, the detection of a medication error might be revealed when a patient has an adverse reaction to the drug.
How can I Avoid a Prescription Error?
Medical experts advise that there are ways to protect yourself from a medication error. The most important thing that you can do is talk to the pharmacist. They are trying to rush you out so they can keep filling prescriptions.
Accordingly, they have all sorts of shortcuts that they take to make it your fault when you leave the pharmacy without getting explicit instructions from them about your medications. As the questions that you feel you need to in order to know exactly how to take your medications.
Then, you should always make sure to open the bag and check it before you leave the pharmacy to ensure that it has the right medications and dosage. Before you take the medication, examine the pills to ensure that they look familiar and always read the instructions.
What is the Legal Standard in Pharmacy Mistake Cases?
Pharmacy mistake cases are considered a form of medical malpractice. The case would be judged on a negligence standard. A jury would look at what happened in your Chicago Illinois case and compare it to what a reasonable pharmacy would have done under the circumstances.
The presumption is that a reasonable pharmacy would dispense the correct dosage and give proper instructions when they give you the medication. This is a vital part of the work that they are supposed to perform.
Cook County and Illinois Pharmacy Cases
Pharmacies in Cook County and Illinois are often sued for malpractice in cases where they have made an error that has injured or killed a patient. Here are a few examples:
Plaintiff Verdict for $1.5 million
The plaintiff suffered brain damage and paralysis before dying from a pharmacy error. The hospitalized patient was receiving an opioid pain medication, and an order was given to stop the medication.
The pharmacy claimed that it never received the order to stop the medication and continued to administer it to the patient, causing severe injuries that led to death. The jury found that the pharmacy breached the standard of care when it did not receive a telephone order to stop the medication.
Plaintiff Verdict for $465,000
The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Walmart, which filled her prescriptions. The plaintiff alleged that she was prescribed a drug similar to aspirin when she repeatedly advised the pharmacy that she was allergic to that entire class of drugs.
She suffered a severe allergic reaction and was hospitalized. The doctor had prescribed the medication, and the pharmacy overrode the warning about allergies without contacting the doctor about the prescription.
Plaintiff Verdict for $75,000
The plaintiff's daughter died when she ingested a medication. The lawsuit claimed that the only instruction that the plaintiff received from the pharmacy was to be administered "all over the mouth."
The medication was a topical cream called lidocaine, which was not meant to be swallowed, but the plaintiff alleged that the pharmacy never told her that.
The pharmacy claimed that it did its job when it gave the plaintiff written instructions on how to use the medicine.
Victims Can Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top Chicago Medication Error Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury related to a suspected pharmacist mistake or pharmacy error, save the medications and packaging and contact our pharmaceutical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible.
Speak with our Chicago pharmacy error lawyers for legal advice on your pharmacy error case.
If you were injured or a loved one died by a pharmacy error, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule an initial case evaluation.
All discussions you have with our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys during the initial consultation will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Get Legal Help Today
Our consultations with a pharmaceutical malpractice attorney are free, and there is never a charge or fee unless we recover damages for you.
Please do not send sensitive information to our law office in a text message, email, or voicemail concerning private information and your malpractice claim.
Our Chicago prescription errors lawyers currently represent clients throughout the United States, Illinois, and in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Springfield, Wheaton, and Waukegan.
Resources on Pharmacy Safety and Legal Responsibilities
- Children and Medication Errors
- CVS Pharmacy Errors
- Illinois Pharmacist Licensing Requirements
- Medicine Shoppe
- Mislabeling of Medication
- Reducing Prescription Errors
- Rite Aid Pharmacy Error
- Walgreens Pharmacy Errors
- Wrong Dosage
- Wrong Medication
- Pharmacy Medication Error Wrongful Death