When a doctor prescribes you a medication and you pick it up from your local pharmacy, you have every reason to believe that the medication has been prescribed with your health and wellness in mind. Unfortunately, prescription drug errors happen all the time--and the results can be devastating. Serious illness, injury, or even death can occur as a result of a prescription drug error.
If this has happened to you or somebody that you know, you may be wondering who should be held responsible and what recourse you may have. In most cases of a prescription drug error, one of three parties can be held responsible in court.
The Prescribing Doctor
Sometimes, the doctor or physician who prescribed the medication is responsible for an error. This can occur when the doctor failed to check for potentially adverse drug interactions based on other known medications that the patient was taking. It can also occur when a doctor prescribes something that, based on the patient's health and side effect risks, should never have been prescribed in the first place. When this happens, the prescribing doctor could end up facing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Even when the correct medication is prescribed by a doctor, pharmacies can make mistakes when it comes to filling or labeling a medication. In rare cases, the wrong medication may be put into the pill bottle with terrible results. More commonly, however, incorrect dosages are printed on the prescription bottle, leading to accidental overdose. Fortunately, these instances are much less common today than they were in the past, thanks to automated technology and the fact that most prescriptions are now typed instead of hand-written.
The Pharmaceutical Company
Finally, in even less common instances, the pharmaceutical company responsible for creating and producing a drug can be held responsible for a drug error. This can occur when a drug is manufactured with the incorrect dosage, or when foreign contaminants make their way into a drug. The pharmaceutical company can also be held legally responsible for adverse side effects and other reactions that result due to a lack of clinical testing.
If you or somebody you know has fallen victim to a prescription drug error, it's important to act quickly. Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney like Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens is the best way to find out what your case may be worth and get started in building a case against the responsible party.