Making pharmaceutical errors can have a significant detrimental impact on a pharmacy owner or pharmacist. The Illinois Board of Pharmacy and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can take harsh action, classifying a pharmaceutical error that results in serious injury or death as malpractice. In addition to the civil legal ramifications brought forth by the alleged victim and/or their family, a pharmacist and the facility that employs them can also lose their licenses.
Incorrect Medication to the Patient
If a patient is given the wrong medication, it can cause serious or even fatal side effects. Unfortunately, these mistakes do occur, especially in pharmacies that have a large volume of prescription medications they fill on a daily basis. This can happen for any of the following reasons:
The medication has a similar name as the name of the medication the patient was supposed to be given. Take, for example, Catapres® (clonidine) and Klonopin® (clonazepam). The generic names for both of these medications are very similar, but if the drugs are mixed up, the patient can experience loss of seizure control, hypotension, and other dangerous side effects.
Two patients have similar names. Just like medication names, patients can have similar names or even the same name and medications can easily get mixed up if a pharmacist is not paying careful attention.
The pharmacist misreads the prescription. This issue is not as common as it used to be since most prescriptions are sent in an electronic format from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy, but a pharmacist may still misread a prescription.
Giving the patient the wrong dosage of medication can also cause an adverse reaction. A patient can suffer serious side effects if they do not take enough, or if they are taking too much, of a medication.
Insufficient or Incorrect Labeling and/or Instructions
Every medication is required to include a label with correct instructions on how to take the medication. There is also a requirement to include labels of any side effects the patient may have. When the patient is given their prescription, the pharmacist should go over these instructions and explain the potential effects.
During this review, the pharmacist should also verify other medications the patient is taking in order to ensure there will be no drug interactions, as well as check any allergies the patient may have.
Contact an Illinois Professional License Defense Lawyer
If you are a pharmacist or pharmacy owner and you have been notified by the DEA or pharmacy board that you are being investigated for an alleged pharmacy error, contact The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC at 630-310-1267 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Illinois pharmacy license defense attorneys and find out what steps can be taken to defend against these accusations to protect your pharmacy license.