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Is a Prescription Drug Error Considered Medical Malpractice?
Medical Malpractice

Is a Prescription Drug Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

Prescription drug errors are defined by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) as “…any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.” This includes giving a patient the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage, giving a patient medication they are allergic to or failing to double-check the medicine being prescribed to see if it interacts negatively with other medications the patient might be taking. A prescription drug error can be considered medical malpractice if the error can be linked directly to an injury or health condition sustained by the patient after taking the prescribed meds.

Who Is Liable for Damages Caused By a Prescription Drug Error?

Prescription drug errors can be complex because anyone along the medication manufacturing and prescribing chain could be at fault for the error. That not only includes a doctor or nurse who may have prescribed a drug incorrectly but also a pharmacist who mislabeled the drug or dispensed the wrong dosage, or even a drug manufacturer who produced the drug with dangerous unlisted side effects. In some cases, more than one individual or organization may share liability for the drug error.

What If I Was Prescribed a Medication That Was Defective or Dangerous?

There are some cases in which doctors or nurses prescribe a drug that was marketed as safe and effective, trusting that they are doing what is in the patient’s best interest, only to find out that the drug has unadvertised side effects or proves to be bad or defective in some way. In this case, victims harmed by a prescription drug are probably looking at a product liability claim rather than a medical malpractice claim.

Product liability claims allow consumers (or patients, in this case) to hold manufacturers of defective products responsible for their damages. If a doctor or nurse prescribed a certain drug to a patient following their basic standards of care and the drug proves to be harmful or defective due to a manufacturing error unknown to them, then most likely the manufacturer of the drug is at fault for the error.

How Much Money May I Get for My Case?

It is hard to provide a precise estimate for how much money you may be able to receive for a prescription drug error claim. The more severe your injuries or conditions resulting from the prescription error, the higher your claim value may be. Your claim may include damages for economic losses such as medical care expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. If you have been the victim of a prescription error, it is important to consult a medical malpractice attorney so you can identify who may have been responsible for it and how much money you may be eligible to receive. Contact the legal team at Gideon Asen LLC.