Since 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received more than 95,000 reports of medication errors, one of the most common reasons for medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one has suffered serious side effects, injury or death due to prescription error, you may have a medical malpractice claim and be eligible for compensation. Please contact the personal injury attorneys of Ward Black Law in Greensboro, N.C. today. Attorneys with expertise in handling medication error cases are available for free consultations, including a free review of the medication records in your case. 

What Is A Medication Error?

According to the FDA, a medication error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.” Prescription and medication errors can be committed by doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other parties, and occur due to a number of factors:

  • Illegible handwriting
  • Drugs with similar packaging design
  • Drug names that sound or look alike and have ambiguous abbreviations
  • Almost identical product characteristics, such as drug strength, dosage form and dosing intervals
  • Incorrect data entry
  • Improper labeling, stocking, scanning, etc.

Pervasive Medication Mistakes

The numbers are staggering: According to a 2006 update of a seminal report by the Institute of Medicine, medication errors harm an estimated 1.5 million people per year, at least one medication error per hospital patient per day. Medication errors are most often preventable if due care and caution are used in the selection and dosage of medications, adherence to warnings and contraindications and careful dispensing of the medication.

In an effort to combat widespread medication and prescription error, the FDA conducts pre-marketing reviews of all proprietary drug names, labeling and packaging to minimize the potential for confusion. Since 2004, it’s also required bar codes on product labels, which help ensure the right drug at the right dose is given at the right time. But mistakes still persist. Common prescription/medication errors include:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication
  • Administering the wrong dosage
  • Failing to avoid known, severe allergies  
  • Misfiling a prescription         

Serious prescription error can lead to severe injury, hospitalization, permanent disability or even death. If you believe you’ve received a prescription in error, alert your care provider and pharmacist immediately so that you can receive appropriate medical care and ensure that the medication error is corrected. Save the packaging, receipts, package insert and any medical records you might have received from your physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Record any recent side-effects or unusual symptoms and seek immediate medical assistance if necessary. Then, contact a prescription error attorney at Ward Black Law.

Contact us if you’ve been injured by a medication error

Under the law, physicians and pharmacists are required to adhere to an applicable standard of care. Physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are required to choose the appropriate medication, name it correctly and prescribe it in the appropriate dosage with consideration for the patient’s specific health situation to avoid contradictions and drug reactions.

Pharmacists are required to fill, compound, dispense, and label prescriptions correctly. If health care professionals fail to meet the standard of care applicable to them, and a medication error occurs which causes personal injury or death, the incidence gives rise to a medical malpractice claim.  

Additional Information

Peruse the following links to keep up to date and informed about the incidence of medication errors:

*Ward Black Law provides this list as an informative resource only and is not responsible for outdated or inaccurate information on third-party websites.  

Contact a N.C. Prescription Errors Lawyer

If you or a loved one has experienced serious adverse effects due to medication error, you may be entitled to compensation. 

The experienced attorneys at Ward Black Law in Greensboro, N.C., have years of experience representing clients and victims of medication errors resulting from professional negligence. Our team of prescription error attorneys is available to answer your questions and conduct a free case review. Call Ward Black Law today at 336-333-2244, or toll-free at 1-800-531-9191. You may also reach Ward Black Law by email or online inquiry.

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