Medications are an essential element of healthcare. At the same time, they also can pose a serious risk to patients in Providence County. If you are prescribed a medication by your doctor, you likely have full confidence that he or she understands exactly what affect it may have on you, and that your pharmacy will fill and label your prescription correctly. Most share this same assumption, yet the 100,000 hospitalizations and 700,000 emergency department visits that occur every year that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists as being due to adverse drug events seems to cast doubt on such confidence.
Who is responsible if you have an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication: your doctor or your pharmacy? The answer may vary depending of the determined cause of the error. If your doctor was not clear in communicating his or her prescription to the pharmacy, then it may be hard to argue that liability should not lie with him or her. Even clinics that communicate with pharmacies through electronic media may still cause errors by using the wrong brand name or recommending an incorrect dosage.
Another error that may attributed to a doctor could be him or her not foreseeing how a prescribed medication would react with others you may already be taking. Some may argue that anticipating an adverse reaction is impossible. Yet prior to prescribing to a medication, your doctor should have conducted an assessment during which he or she would have asked what other medications you are currently using. That information should lead him or her to consider what interactions medications may have with each other.
Issues where a pharmacy is at fault may be more apparent. These may include giving you someone else’s medication, or misidentifying a drug when filling your prescription.