With the generic pharmaceutical industry growing and taking over nearly 90% of market share, the same medications may look different depending on what pharmacy you choose you to fill your prescription. Further, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that many prescriptions have very similar names. As humans, we all make mistakes, but when a pharmacist makes a mistake, the consequences could leave you or a loved one very ill, or could even end your life. Pharmacists are held to a higher standard as healthcare providers, so they need to be especially cautious and detail-oriented when dispensing the medicine you take. After all, the pharmacist knows more than you do about the medication, and you put your trust in your pharmacist to ensure you are getting the medication that has been prescribed to you and in the correct dosage - not the wrong medication that could harm you.
A Florida Family's Close Brush With Death
In early 2012, a mother shared her son's story to West Palm Beach's News Channel 5 regarding her son's experience with a potentially life-threatening medication. This mother and her son were both lucky because the mother diligently examined the medication that was dispensed to her son. Her son has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and is prescribed the medication "Intuniv" by his physician to treat the condition.
The ten-year-old boy's mother filled her son's prescription just as she would on any other day. But this time she noticed something different. The pill didn't look quite the same. While the shape of the pill that was dispensed was the same as Intuniv, the color was different. The mother did the right thing and called her pharmacist, and subsequently learned that the medication that had been dispensed to her son was not Intuniv, but was a medication called "Invega," which is used to treat adults with schizophrenia.
The mother was told by the pharmacist that had her son taken Invega, he would have died the following day. In this case, the mother's decision to check with her pharmacist regarding the medication was a decision that saved her son's life. But what happens when certain patients, such as the disabled or elderly, do not have anyone to help them inspect the medication they receive on a regular basis? Medications are looking more and more alike as generic pharmaceuticals take over the market. The potential of a pharmacist dispensing the wrong medication is, and should be, a grave concern for all Florida residents.
A Pharmacist's Obligations
Like physicians, pharmacists have a heightened duty of care to patients. Medication can save lives, but medication can also be life threatening. The pharmacist and the supporting staff members are the gatekeepers that can make or break a patient's health. Simple procedures can prevent careless mistakes that often occur when pharmacists are moving too quickly, or are simply overworked.
Pharmacists have the obligation to ensure that the medication you are taking is the one prescribed by your physician. This requires double-checking of the final product that is handed to the patient. Simply looking at the bottle, inspecting the pills and pulling up the patient's prescription can prevent the type of situation that almost resulted in the young boy's death, as discussed above.
You as a patient have to be extra careful and inspect your medication at the pharmacy to ensure you recognize it, and even do research online, looking up the number or code on the pill. While the pharmacist ultimately has the responsibility of ensuring you receive the correct medication, you should take any measures you can to protect yourself, as the mother did for her son, as described above.
Contact Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation
The Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at the firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano are highly skilled in the area of Wrong Medication Claims. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are ready, willing and able to fight for what you deserve. We have handled scores of cases where the wrong medication has been dispensed resulting in injury and loss to our client's. We "take on" the biggest pharmacy chains to local, independant shops and fight for fair compensation for you or your loved one.. Greenberg Stone and Urbano have been named "Superlawyers," a rating that designates the best Lawyer's in America. Our firm has also been voted "South Florida's Top Rated Lawyers," by the Miami Herald, in addition to receiving a rating of "AV" by Martindale Hubbell. Further, our law firm has been invited to be members of an international society of leading law firms, called Primerus. To schedule your free consultation to discuss your potential wrong medication claim, please contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.