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Investigation delves into MA prescription medication errors


When a person in Massachusetts needs to have a prescription for a medical issue, there is an implied trust that the doctor and pharmacy will provide the right medicine in its proper dose. Much like an anesthesia error, prescription medication errors can be dangerous and even deadly for a variety of reasons. Whether it is because of a doctor's mistake, a negligent pharmacist or the way the pharmacy conducts business, those who have been affected by a wrong medication or a dangerous combination of prescriptions need to understand what to do if there was a mistake and it caused more medical issues to the victim.

An investigative team of a local television station has found that prescription medication errors reported to the State Department of Public Health showed nearly 200 serious mistakes since 2010. One instance showed a patient was given a drug for allergies, instead of medication to treat high blood pressure. Another incident involved a patient who received acid reflux medication, rather than an anti-depressant. A drug for arthritis was given to a patient who was supposed to be receiving medication for seizures.

A person working at one pharmacy stated that the amount of stress that pharmacists are under is contributing to the mistakes that are being made. The amount of prescriptions that are being filled and demands on the pharmacists are believed to be contributing factors to the mistakes that are made. A survey involving 700 pharmacists showed that 83 percent think that pressure for speed has led to dosage mistake and other errors.

One of the most unexpected issues that a person will face after they receive treatment or a diagnosis for a medical issue is if a negligent pharmacist makes an error with the drug they dispense or the amount that is supposed to be given. At worst, people can die from these prescription medication errors. Whether they happened due to overworked pharmacists and demands from the company itself is largely irrelevant to those who have been harmed or lost a loved one because of it.

The long-term costs from treatment for medical problems after a dosage mistake or the aftereffects of a fatality warrant victims and their families receiving compensation. If there is a belief that a prescription mistake caused a problem, discussing the matter with a legal professional is a wise decision.

Source: CBS Boston, "I-Team: Report Suggests Trend In Prescription Drug Errors Filled By Pharmacists," Chris McKinnon, Feb. 13, 2015

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