There are many ways that a wrong prescription could end up harming the person it was intended to help. In most cases, this is not the fault of the patient unless that person has given wrong information about their health complaint to the doctor who prescribed the medication. More often, wrong prescription medication is due to an error made at some point in the supply chain that starts with the manufacturer of the drug and ends with the patient. More specifically, the fault could lie with:
- The manufacturer
- The doctor who prescribed the medication
- The pharmacist who supplied the medication
- Someone else, such as the distributor of the drugs, a pharmacist’s assistant, etc.
Consequences of a wrong prescription medication
There is no hard and fast answer to the sorts of consequences that could result from a wrong prescription medication. They could range from no effect at all, i.e. the medication supplied is totally ineffective, yet not harmful, right through to very serious ill effects and even death.
If you suspect that you have taken the wrong prescription medication, you should certainly seek medical attention straight away and ensure that the medication you have been given is tested for contents while retaining proof of what you have been given for legal attention. If the effect on you is serious (i.e. not just a mild headache), you should contact a medical malpractice attorney, or a personal injury attorney with experience in medication errors as soon as possible.
Determining who was at fault
As has already been mentioned above, apart from a patient unintentionally misinforming a doctor about their complaint, there are three main ways that wrong prescription medication can take place. When considering filing a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit, it is vital that the at-fault party is rigorously identified with convincing evidence. This is not easy for the ordinary victim/patient of the medication error who might need the services of a medical expert to determine where the fault lies.
The drug manufacturer
A medication error could easily result if the original medication or drug was faulty, or if there was a defect in its manufacture. The drug may also need to be stored properly and there could be a problem with the way it was handled or stored at any point between the manufacturer and the pharmacy where it was supplied.
The doctor who prescribed the medication could have made one or more errors. For example, he or she could have made the wrong diagnosis and then gone on to prescribe a medication for the wrong ailment. He/she could have prescribed the wrong dosage. He/she could have failed to take into account other underlying allergies or health problems that could have resulted in a bad response when taking the drug. The doctor may have prescribed a drug that interacted badly with another medication taken at the same time.
At this point in the medication supply chain, again there are opportunities for error. The pharmacist may simply have filled the medication containers with the wrong drug, the wrong dosages of the drug, supplied the wrong instructions or the wrong label. Long gone are the days that a doctor scribbled a prescription down in barely legible instructions, but it still may happen. Whether this leads to an error by the doctor, the pharmacist, or both, depends on the individual circumstances.
A successful medical malpractice or medication error claim depends on an assertive and experienced attorney
Most cases of medication errors are quite complex. They often take a degree of detective work and careful analysis in order to build a satisfactory case against the individual or entity at fault. If you, or a member of your family, have been affected by a wrong prescription medication, do not hesitate to contact the Diaz Law Firm or call us in Jackson, Mississippi at 601-607-3456.