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Medication errors subject of new investigation

In the world of medical malpractice, there are many types of errors that can occur that may negatively impact Rhode Island patients. Among these are errors involving prescription medications. A doctor’s poor handwriting is nothing to be joking about as even this can lead to an error if the wrong drug is given to a patient as a result.

In neighboring Connecticut, an investigation attempted to learn more about the seriousness of medication errors in the state. Out of the 3,500 pharmacists in the state, a few dozen were found to have entered into settlement agreements in the past few years with the Department of Consumer Protection. Three had their licenses taken away due to substance abuse. Problems were discovered with issues such as forged prescriptions or generic drugs being sold as brand-name drugs as brand-name prices.

Other issues uncovered by the investigation were the dispensation of incorrect drugs as in the case of an infant prescribed an epilepsy medication instead of the treatment needed for an infection. Incorrect dosage instructions led to problems for another patient who received a drug with instructions to take twice as much of the medication as he was supposed to. Pharmacists have been reported as saying that the ongoing push for them to work faster increases the chances of errors being made.

The concerns surrounding the safety of prescription receipt, handling, and dispensing only further highlights the importance of patient proactivity. Rhode Islanders who have concerns about a potential medical error involving a medication may wish to discuss their case with an attorney.

 

Source: NBC Connecticut, “Troubleshooters Investigate Pharmacy Prescription Errors,” Jill Konopka, February 18, 2016

 

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