With the increased use of medications in Massachusetts to treat various illnesses and ailments, people in Boston need to be cognizant of the possibility that prescription medication errors might be made. While it might be due to a negligent pharmacist, an illegible handwriting on the part of the doctor or a simple and unintended mistake, that does not diminish the amount of damage that can be done when there is any kind of wrong drug administered or improper amount dispensed. Those who are concerned must keep certain factors in mind when being given any kind of medication.

While they are often not considered to be a major problem, medical mistakes are a top ten reason for people to die. In fact, the number of people who died because of this in recent years has been higher than those dying of breast cancer, car accidents and other issues or incidents. Mistakes made at the pharmacy are a significant reason for the fatalities. Sometimes, the right medication is given, but in the wrong dosage. Other times, the wrong medication is given entirely.

In certain circumstances, the pharmacist makes the mistake of not checking for allergies. Many people continue taking their prescribed medicines because of the inherent trust placed with doctors and pharmacists and they do so regardless of side effects that could eventually wind up killing them. Pharmacists can get confused with the vast number of medications on the market today and the similarities in their names despite the fact that many of them are for different problems. Giving the wrong medication, the wrong dosage or improper instructions are three frequently cited issues related to prescription medication errors by pharmacists.

Patients can participate in the process by making certain to ask many questions as to what medicines they are being given and why. Having an idea of the sheer number of mistakes that are made and how much money it can cost in hospital stays and even fatalities can give a patient and pharmacist the motivation to look closer at the situation. When these mistakes happen, it is important to know how to move forward with possible litigation by speaking to a qualified legal professional with experience in wrong drug cases.

Source: ABC News, “Medication Mix-Ups: What You Should Know,” Elisabeth Leamy, Sept. 16, 2014