Few professionals receive as much trust and respect as those working in the medical profession. People get checkups, undergo surgery, and take medication on little else besides faith that their doctor, their surgeon, and their pharmacist are competent individuals who will do their jobs and make their decisions correctly. Too often, this trust is misplaced, as evidenced by the scores of malpractice suits brought against doctors who ended up harming their patients. Another dangerous, but less publicized type of medical error occurs in the pharmacy where people pick up their prescription drugs.
Just as the average person knows next to nothing about the treatments administered by doctors, they are equally uninformed about many of the medicines they buy from a pharmacy. With the exception of a few highly advertised drugs, most prescription medicines are completely alien to the people who take them. To make things worse, many pills look virtually identical, differing only in minute color variations or slight shape distortions. If a pharmacist hands out the wrong medicine, few people will catch the error immediately.
Why is pharmacy error typically less hyped than other medical malpractice issues? Certainly not because of lesser risk. Taking the wrong medicine can cause debilitating side effects or even be fatal. With lives at stake, pharmacists are obligated to do their jobs carefully. A recent study, however,,indicated that this might not always be the case. Results published by sociologist David Phillips show that deaths due to pharmacy error spike as much as 25% at the beginning of each month, presumably because of efforts to accommodate the start-of-the-month purchasing rush.
If you take or will be taking prescription meds, it’s in your best interests to check each dose of medicine carefully. Consult your written prescription and compare your medicine to reputable online resources to ensure that you are taking exactly what your doctor prescribed – it could mean the difference between life and death.
If pharmacy error has hurt you or someone you love, you may be entitled to compensation in a court of law. To learn more, contact a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer by calling Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (414) 271-0900 today.