When people think of medical malpractice claims, they may get an image of a surgeon preforming a procedure incorrectly or something similar. These errors prove to be the exception rather than the rule.
The most common type of medical malpractice occurs around prescription medication. A doctor may issue the wrong drug to be filled, a pharmacy tech may misread the prescription label or the pharmacist may use the wrong drug to fill a prescription.
The causes of pharmacy malpractice are simple which contrasts dramatically with how much damage one mistake can do. Some common mistakes that lead to pharmacy errors are:
- Illegible handwriting: a prescription is inappropriately interpreted
- Missing information about other prescribed medications
- Ignorant of drug allergies
- Mistakenly filling the prescription with a drug by a similar name
- Failure of doctor’s office to transmit a prescription
Errors are classified in two main categories: intentional and non-intentional. There is a large difference between a doctor who incorrectly diagnosis a problem and one who prescribes a medication without knowing the patient would prove allergic.
Pharmacy errors can also come at no fault of the pharmacy or prescribing doctor. Patients who fail to fill or pick up a prescription may suffer severe consequences. Similarly, a patient who takes medication in a manner not prescribed by their doctor runs a similar risk of injury.
Results of malpractice suits
Repercussions of a failed lawsuit against a doctor or pharmacist can be severe. If a medical professional is convicted of malpractice, they may be fined, or may have their license suspended or revoked.
However, not all malpractice lawsuits will result in such severe punishments. As some malpractice issues may arise because of the patient’s irresponsibility, there is a chance a doctor may be exempt from punishment.