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Pharmaceutical Malpractice

We trust pharmacists and other health care professionals to make the right decisions and not cut corners when it comes to our treatment. These are the people who fill and maintain our medication, and so their position in society is incredibly significant. Unfortunately, some pharmacists fail to complete their duties with the attention needed. For example, they may prescribe the patient the wrong drug or administer the wrong dose of medicine.

In most cases, these pharmaceutical errors and malpractice do not cause any lasting harm. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. More than 6,000 people die annually due to pharmaceutical malpractice. In the end, innocent patients are harmed as a result of these errors and the pharmacists or health care professionals who made them should be held responsible.

If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries due to pharmaceutical malpractice, then we urge you to contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

Des Moines Prescription Error Attorney | Medical Malpractice, Iowa

Pharmaceutical malpractice can have devastating effects on your personal and financial life. Hold the ones who harmed you responsible by calling experienced Des Moines prescription error attorney Gregory Landry from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. With over three decades of experience, attorney Landry can assess your situation and get you on the right path towards a monetary award.

Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today to set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry at (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines, Polk County, and Dallas County area including Ankeny, Altoona, Dexter, Perry, Pleasant Hill, Dexter, and Elkhart.

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Examples of Pharmaceutical Malpractice

Every pharmacist is legally responsible to use their own sound professional judgement and administer proper care when filling out prescriptions. If a pharmacist makes a preventable error due to inattention, carelessness, or inexperience and it results in harm to the patient, then the pharmacist may be held liable for damages. Listed below are some common mistakes by pharmacists that may result in pharmaceutical malpractice.

  • Incorrect dosage
  • Filing prescriptions with the wrong medication
  • Mislabeling products
  • Contaminated prescription
  • Misfiled prescription or error when reading the prescription
  • Failing to warn the patient of potential drug allergies
  • Failing to provide adequate information regarding the drug
  • Failing to warn the patient of the drug’s side effects
  • The drug was defective and rushed to the market without adequate testing

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How Common Are Pharmacy Errors?

Most people are unaware of how prevalent medical malpractice is in the United States. It’s an unfortunate reality that despite efforts to ensure health care professionals (including pharmacists) follow the standards of care, medical malpractice still occurs every day. Listed below is some data regarding pharmaceutical malpractice in the U.S.

  • 3 million people are injured or die due to pharmaceutical errors annually
  • It’s estimated around 100,000 people die each year due to adverse side effects by medications
  • In hospitals, around 7,000 deaths can be contributed to medication errors
  • A 2002 study showed hospitals in the United States had an incorrect dosage rate of around 20 percent that caused harm to patients
  • A 2003 study showed that 24 percent of all pharmacists admitted they intercepted written prescription errors

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What Happens if a Pharmacist Makes a Mistake?

Pharmacists who make prescription errors due to carelessness, inattention, or any other reason linked to negligence could cause great harm to the patient. The patient may suffer from health issues as a result of it and may be financially obligated to get treatment for these side effects.

Listed below are some experiences a patient suffering with a prescription error may face.

  • Side Effects – Patients who receive an incorrect dose may suffer from various side effects as a result. If the patient wasn’t warned of the drug’s side effects beforehand, then they may still use it and undergo harm that could have been avoided. Sometimes the patient may develop a medical condition as a side effect.
  • Aggravating an Already Existing Condition – Often patients who suffer from prescription errors or pharmaceutical malpractice will have an underlying medical condition. That condition may be aggravated or worsened due to a prescription error since they are receiving incorrect treatment.
  • Drug Interactions – Pharmacists must inform patients of harmful drug interactions if they suspect it could harm them. In addition, pharmacists who give their patients the wrong drug or dose may be the cause of a harmful drug interaction.
  • Adverse Reaction – In some cases, the pharmacist may give the patient a drug they’re allergic to. It’s the job of the pharmacist to ask the patient if they have any allergies and inform them if the medication contains something they’re allergic to. If the patient is harmed from an allergic reaction and they failed to execute this duty, then they may be able to file a claim against the pharmacist.

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Can You Sue for a Medication Error?

Pharmaceutical errors could have deadly effects on the patient depending on the circumstances. In some cases, a prescription error could be the cause of someone’s death. Patients who have suffered due to these medication errors may be able to file a lawsuit against the pharmacist or pharmacy that harmed them.

In order to prove malpractice, the patient will have to establish the following:

  • The defendant failed to act with the level of care a similarly trained and knowledgeable health care professional would have demonstrated under the same circumstances; and
  • The provision of that sub-standard care was the plaintiff’s cause of harm

If the lawsuit is successful, then the patient will receive a monetary award based on their economic and non-economic losses, also known as damages. Listed below are some damages the plaintiff may receive compensation for:­­­­

  • Past, current, and future medical treatment
  • Hospital visit bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy treatments
  • Nursing home bills
  • Necessary medical equipment
  • Lost wages
  • Increased living expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources

Essay on Medication Errors | PML– Visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health website to read a scientific article by Giampaolo P. Velo and Pietro Minuz’s that details the reason why medication errors occur. Research into why these errors are so common and proposed ways to reduce pharmaceutical malpractice.

Why Are Products Recalled? | FDA– Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website to learn how and why they recall certain products which includes medication. Read about their various drug recall classes, drug recall procedure, drug recall definitions, and other recent large drug recalls.


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Des Moines Medication Error Lawyer | Pharmaceutical Malpractice, Iowa

Were you recently harmed or lost a loved one due to a prescription error? Be sure to keep all associated documentation and contact experienced personal injury attorney Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Attorney Landry is by no means a rookie lawyer with over three decades of experience. He has helped many people who have suffered from all types of medical malpractice by litigating on their behalf. With his skills, knowledge, and resources, you may be able to obtain a settlement or monetary award based off your damages.

Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is located in West Des Moines but accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County, Iowa area.


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