Pharmacy Errors — Receiving Compensation for Your Harm

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A Houston, Texas mother is suing her local pharmacy for a prescription error that led to the death of her daughter. In August, 6-year-old Jadalyn died after taking a dose of liquid morphine that was 10 times the strength she was prescribed.

Pharmacy error is the failure of a pharmacist to provide the proper dosage, medication or instructions. It is a form of medical malpractice. Since 1992, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received nearly 30,000 reports of pharmacy errors — a number the FDA believes is low because pharmacy errors may be vastly underreported.

What are some common pharmacy errors?

Common pharmacy errors include:

  • Failure by a doctor or pharmacist to properly file prescriptions
  • Misreading dosages or medication instructions
  • Not providing patients with clear and detailed treatment instructions
  • Failing to adequately check and account for possible dangers due to drug interactions or allergies

How can you claim damages for a pharmacy error?

To claim damages for a pharmacy error, you must show that the pharmacist negligently handled, prepared or dispensed your medication and that you were harmed as a result. The medicine container can be one of your most important pieces of evidence — you should keep the bottle of improperly dispensed medication; do not bring it back to the pharmacy.

How much time do you have to sue?

In general, individuals who are harmed by a pharmacy error must file their claim within two years of the time that the error occurred or within two years of the time that the injury should have reasonably been discovered.