Getting your prescription filled in 15 minutes or less might be a great convenience, but not at the expense of having the prescription filled wrong. In 2011, Rite Aid pharmacies across the United States began offering a 15-minute guarantee that most prescriptions would be filled and ready in 15 minutes or less or, the customer received a five-dollar gift card. However, Rite Aid pharmacy errors are nothing new to the corporation, which has battled many lawsuits and claims for compensation nationwide.
Many individuals picking up their prescription at Rite Aid pharmacies have often received medications intended for other customers. These scenarios occur when customers have similar last names and either identical or different first names. In many situations, the patient unknowingly takes incorrect medication for weeks or months at a time.
Lawsuits filed against Rite Aid pharmacy errors often involve being given the wrong medication, the right medication at the wrong dose, or incorrect usage information. The strengths of some medications are so severe that they can cause immediate life-threatening problems or permanent damage to the unsuspecting public. As a result, many of these pharmacy malpractice victims will hire a personal injury attorney to seek financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering.
Who Filled the Prescription?
Rite Aid pharmacies advertise that they are a neighborhood drugstore, run by a friendly pharmacist eagerly filling prescriptions for neighbors. However, pharmacy technicians and not the pharmacist often fill the prescription medications at Rite Aid. Many of these technicians have insufficient training to identify pharmaceuticals, understand prescription codes and acquire necessary information from the consumer before the drug is dispensed.
Patients often pick up their prescription at Rite Aid without the knowledge that the drug in the bottle is wrong, which could cause significant harm if taken. Other times, the dosage is significantly higher than prescribed because the pharmacist or technician failed to decipher the handwriting of the doctor and instead fill the prescription at the wrong. When the patient overdoses, serious medical conditions including debilitating strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, or organ damage can quickly occur. The catastrophic consequences can be long lasting or fatal.
Pharmacists Responsibility to Protect the Patient From Harm
While it is up to the doctor to prescribe the right medication and the pharmacy to fill the prescription correctly, how can the patient be protected? Pharmaceutical errors can occur at any stage in the process including at the point where it is prescribed by the doctor, filled and dispensed by the pharmacy or taken by the patient.
The patient, or guardian of a young patient, can take specific actions to avoid errors. This includes asking the prescribing physician the name of the drug to be taken, its correct dosage, and exactly what the drug is being used for. In addition, it is essential to understand usage instructions and any other drugs are foods that should be avoided when the medicine is taken.
While at the pharmacy, it is essential to search for anything awry. Ask the pharmacy technician for a reference book to ensure that the drug appears as it should with the usual texture, color, packaging and markings. Once the drug is taken, remain aware of any subtle or obvious change in the medication’s effectiveness or any sign of a side effect or adverse reaction.
In the event of a Rite Aid pharmacy error, it is essential to take legal action immediately. A skilled pharmacy error attorney can begin the investigative process and gather evidence to build the case for financial compensation. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you determine if you were given the prescription intended for another patient, taking a drug at the wrong dose or given the right drug but the wrong instructions.
Taking legal action quickly can maximize compensation. The amount you receive can help you recover your medical expenses, time away from work and funds required to help maintain quality of life if you are suffering severe injury from the pharmacy mistake.