The lawyers at Kennedy Hodges L.L.P. have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who have suffered an injury after receiving the wrong prescription, wrong dosage, or incorrect instructions for use from their pharmacy. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
- Who Is Liable for Injuries That Result From Prescription Misfills
- Importance of Checking Your Pills to Catch Wrong Prescriptions
Yes. You can still hold the pharmacy responsible. It may have never occurred to you that a pharmacist could give you the wrong medication, fill the wrong dosage, or provide you with the wrong instructions. As a consumer, you trust the experts to give you the correct prescription. Unfortunately, medication mistakes at CVS pharmacies and many other chain pharmacies occur far too often.
Although we strongly stress that every customer should double check their medication to make sure their pills are the right name, color, and strength, it is ultimately the pharmacist’s responsibility to get you the correct medicine. Unfortunately, many pharmacy technicians are now filling prescriptions, which has led to many misfilled prescriptions. While pharmacists are supposed to check every prescription technicians fill, they have been known to miss things and make mistakes.
If you suffered any medical bills or injuries as a result of receiving the wrong medication, you should definitely receive compensation from the pharmacy involved. You may need compensation for your emergency room visit, hospital stay, surgical costs, prescription costs, rehabilitation, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering. Additionally, if you had to miss work and lost out on wages, you should also be able to make a financial recovery for lost income.
To learn about other damages you may be entitled to in a CVS pharmacy claim, order your free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
If you have been harmed as a result of the prescription mix-up, you should definitely file a claim with your State Board of Pharmacy. Even if you didn’t suffer an injury, you should still speak up if you received the wrong medication, expired medication, incorrect dosage of drugs, wrong information with your prescription, or if you were counseled by a pharmacy technician instead of a pharmacist. However, if your complaint is regarding billing or prescription costs, the board of pharmacy doesn’t handle complaints of that nature.
By speaking up about your prescription mix-up and pharmacy error that occurred at your local CVS pharmacy, you will be making a difference. It is always best to speak out about pharmacy mistakes so that a similar mistake doesn’t happen to someone else. While the board will look into your claim and launch an investigation to evaluate your incident, it may take some time. Although your complaint will get noted, many pharmacy boards don’t have the headcount to inspect each and every pharmacy complaint.
You should also file a complaint with CVS, and you should consider filing a prescription error lawsuit if you incurred any medical expenses as a result of a pharmacy error. By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to collect for your medical bills, injuries, and pain and suffering. To find out if you have a CVS pharmacy claim, you can order a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
If you are taking multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, it is important to learn about possible drug interactions. The good news is that you are already aware that taking multiple drugs could cause harm and interact with each other. But did you know that even herbals, vitamins, and dietary supplements can also interact with different medications?
Important Steps to Take
Anytime you take multiple medications there is the potential for harmful drug interactions. Because of this, you should take the following steps anytime you are prescribed a new medication or purchase an over-the-counter drug:
- Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your pharmacist.
- Read the package insert and label for potential drug interactions.
- Pay attention to the active ingredient.
- Take your medications as directed, with the right food or beverage.
- When in doubt, ask questions.
Helpful Questions to Ask
Some of the questions you should ask your doctor or pharmacist includes:
- Can I take this medication with the drugs I’m currently taking?
- Are there possible drug interactions I should know about and watch for?
- How should I take this drug?
- Do I need to avoid drinking alcohol or eating certain foods?
- Do you have the package insert or other literature about this medication that I can read?
The best advice is to talk with your doctor and pharmacist about all the drugs you are currently taking to make sure certain medications won’t interact with each other and cause you harm. However, be aware that doing this isn’t foolproof. Doctors and pharmacists can make mistakes. If the pharmacist at your local CVS pharmacy made a dangerous drug interaction error, you may have a CVS pharmacy claim for damages. To learn about your rights, order a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
- Injuries From Drug Interactions Deserve Compensation
- Going to Same Doctor, Pharmacist May Prevent Drug Interactions
Pharmacists and pharmacy techs are not the same, even though it may seem that they are doing the same job behind the counter. While large pharmacy chains like CVS would like patients to think pharmacists and pharmacy technicians do the same job, the reality is that pharmacists have way more training and experience—which means they are more expensive to employ. Because CVS, Walgreens and other pharmacies want to save money, they want to replace more pharmacists with techs.
While it is true that both pharmacy techs and pharmacists mix medications, pour medications, dispense medications, and check for accuracy, pharmacists are in charge of pharmacy technicians and are ultimately the ones who have the final say. Their job duties overlap because they both deal with physicians, insurance companies, and patients. Because they sometimes do the same job duties, it can cause confusion for those on the outside of the pharmacy counter.
The difference between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is that techs ultimately assist pharmacists and that pharmacists have to double check a tech’s work for accuracy before a customer receives the medication a tech dispensed. The other big difference is that techs might only have a high school diploma and a year of training, whereas pharmacists go through a four-year program and know a great deal more about medications than technicians do. Pharmacists are the only ones who can counsel patients and answer all the questions customers have regarding their medications, and techs are not allowed to do this job.
This is why there are rules in place in some states that require one pharmacist for every pharmacy tech, but certain states allow up to three techs to every pharmacist. If that wasn’t enough, large pharmacy chains like CVS are looking to help change those rules and allow pharmacists to oversee even more techs.
If you think you have a pharmacy malpractice case against a pharmacy tech, pharmacist, or CVS pharmacy, we encourage you to order a free copy of our book: How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
It is a sad reality, but the truth is that approximately 51 million pharmacy mistakes occur every year in this nation. Sometimes people are seriously injured, while others catch the mistakes made by pharmacists before anything negative happens. It sounds like you possibly caught the dosage mistake before taking the pill. If this is correct, you don’t have a claim for damages; however, you should still take the following steps:
- Make notes regarding the date, time, and specific pharmacy the error took place at.
- Take down the name of the pharmacist who made the mistake.
- Report the pharmacy error to the CVS pharmacy manager.
- Report the medication mistake to the State Board of Pharmacy in writing.
If you took the medication and you aren’t sure if you have been harmed, you should take the above steps as well as these steps:
- Seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Keep the pill bottle for proof.
- Speak with a pharmaceutical malpractice attorney.
While you might not have a claim for your medical bills and damages if you weren’t physically harmed—it is still important to notify the State Board of Pharmacy of the dispensing error. If you live in Texas, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy can be reached at 800-821-3205 (option 5); however, your complaint needs to be made in writing. You can download a complaint form online or request one by calling the number listed above. If you live in another state, you can look up your Board of Pharmacy contact information and send them a written complaint about the incident.
To learn more about reporting an error to the Board of Pharmacy, we encourage you to browse our website to read other articles and frequently asked questions and answers, or to contact us directly.
Shockingly, many local or corner drugstores have actually given out the wrong prescription, wrong dosage, or switched patients’ prescriptions. Even pharmacy giants like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have had accounts where medication mistakes occurred behind the pharmacy counter. Because it is not required in most states for pharmacy errors to be reported—most people don’t hear about the incidents that have occurred at their own local pharmacy.
The real reasons you should switch pharmacies include:
- Not being able to consult with your pharmacist. Unfortunately, many stores keep pharmacists too busy, and it can be difficult to talk with a pharmacist. Your pharmacist should be accessible to speak with about your prescription, and your pharmacist should be knowledgeable about the medication you are taking. “If he or she is not, then you should take your business elsewhere,” says Lucinda Maine, CEO and executive vice president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
- Not having the medication you need. Many pharmacies won’t keep your medication in stock. According to patient surveys, Albertson’s pharmacies are the worst for keeping drugs in stock. Make sure you find out if your drug is kept in stock.
- Paying too much for your medicine. Some pharmacies have negotiated discounts with preferred pharmacies that can help you save out-of-pocket costs for your prescription.
- Technology isn’t up-to-date. You will want a pharmacy that picks up prescriptions from doctors online and that has an interactive website or even mobile apps that can make ordering your prescription easier
For other pharmacy tips, please browse through our blogs and articles or follow us on Twitter.
When something goes wrong at your local Houston pharmacy, and you want to let someone who is in a higher-up position know about it. Whether a pharmacist gave you the wrong medication, wrong dosage, or wrong instructions, you need to know how to report your concerns to the appropriate party. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy is the body that governs licensed pharmacists in our state, and you need to write to them with your complaint.
Any pharmacy complaint you make must be in writing to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Unfortunately, you cannot speak with someone on the phone to lodge your complaint. However, there is a phone number you can call to get a complaint form mailed to you, which is 800-821-3205 (option 5) or in Austin 305-8080 (recorded information only). You can also download a complaint form online by going to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy website.
Your complaint must describe the incident regarding the pharmacy or pharmacist licensed by the state. You will need to provide to the Board with your name and contact information as well as the name of the pharmacist or people involved. Your complaint should list the date of the incident and details. For example, if a pharmacist filled the wrong prescription, you need to provide the name the pharmacist, state the date and approximate time the incident occurred, list the name of the prescription or the information off of the prescription label, and any other details and facts surrounding your incident.
For other helpful information about filing a complaint with the State Board of Pharmacy, please browse through our blogs and articles, or follow us on Twitter.
- Questions You Can Ask Your Doctor to Prevent Getting the Wrong Medication
- Preventing Pharmacy Errors: Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine
Yes. It is always wise to take a couple of extra minutes at your local CVS pharmacy and ask for a consultation with the pharmacist. When you have the attention of a pharmacist, you can ask him or her question about your medication. The benefit of this is that the pharmacist could catch a mistake with your prescription that slipped by him or her earlier.
Pharmacists are there to help consumers and provide answers to their questions, so don’t be shy to ask for a consultation and run through a list of your medication questions. Some of the questions you might have can include:
- What is the brand-name as well as the generic name of this drug?
- How often am I supposed to take this medication? And for how long?
- What is the dosage/strength of this prescription?
- What are the possible side effects of this medication?
- How does the prescription work and what does it treat?
Although you may already know some of this information and some of the answers can be found on the container label, sometimes this information is incorrect. Unfortunately, medication mix-ups occur and technicians have been known to fill the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage of drugs. This is why it is important to ask the pharmacist these questions and compare the pharmacist’s answers to the information you received from your doctor about the prescription. If something doesn’t look right or add up, speak up!
For more pharmacy health and safety tips, follow us on Twitter.
It is important that you take several steps following a pharmacy error, such as:
- Seek medical treatment – Even if you feel lightheaded or different in any way, it is best to let a doctor know what happened and that you took the wrong medication or incorrect dosage of drugs that the pharmacy gave you.
- Report the error to your local Walgreens pharmacy – Call the pharmacy to let them know what mistake they made in case another customer received your pills. This way, they may be able to warn someone else and stop them from taking the wrong meds.
- Call the State Board of Pharmacy – Report the mistake made by the pharmacy to the state agency assigned to review pharmacy errors. They may decide to suspend the pharmacist’s license or reprimand the pharmacy for this mistake.
- Keep the medication – Don’t return the wrong medication to the pharmacy. Keep it as proof. By keeping the pill bottle, label, directions, and bag your medication came in, you will have evidence that can serve as proof that the pharmacy made an error with your medication.
- Call an experienced attorney – Not all lawyers handle pharmacy malpractice cases. Make sure you speak with a lawyer who has had success in representing clients in similar situations and knows what it takes to stand up to large pharmacies.
To learn about your rights and how a pharmacy attorney can help you, you should contact Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation and to download a free copy of our report How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Error.
If you have suffered an injury due to a pharmacist’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the pharmacy. Typically, you will be reimbursed for your physical injuries, pain, suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for impairment or disfigurement. Additionally, you may have endured emotional trauma as a result of the incident and should be compensated accordingly.
When adverse advents occur that cause physical trauma, victims often suffer from mental anguish. As a result of pharmacy negligence, many victims have suffered from fear, severe anxiety, embarrassment, psychological issues, and emotional distress.
If you believe you suffered emotional trauma in addition to physical injuries that wrong medication or a wrong dosage of drugs caused, you may have a claim for such injuries. For example, you may have a fear of going to a pharmacy again, taking medications in the future, or may be worried about the outcome of this incident and should be awarded damages for mental anguish and emotional trauma.
It is important that you seek the legal advice of an experienced attorney who has successfully handled these types of cases in front of a judge and jury. This way you will be able to rest assured knowing you will be compensated for your emotional injuries and that you will receive the proper amount of compensation for your physical injuries as well.
To speak with us about your case in a free consultation, please dial 888-526-7616 today. You can also learn a lot about your rights by downloading a free copy of our report How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Error.