You might be on this website because you, a family member, or a child has taken the wrong medication.  Working people, children, and the elderly are all vulnerable when it comes to their way of life.  When these people take the wrong medication, it could cause a loss of income, a loss of wages, pain and suffering, or medical bills and debt.

If this is the situation you’ve found yourself in, you may be entitled to compensation.  Many people find themselves taking the wrong medication due to a CVS error, but not everyone knows that they are entitled to be compensated for it.

While it is true that healthcare professionals generally have clients’ best interests at heart, it can be easy to make mistakes that lead to people taking the wrong medication.  When big companies like CVS allow themselves to go understaffed, pharmacists can easily make mistakes.  Not only that, but certain jobs can go to unqualified staff, leading to even more errors.

Large pharmacies get very busy since they are often the only competitor in an area.  At a pharmacy like CVS, your pharmacist might be filling 25 prescriptions per hour during rush hours.  This means that many prescriptions contain at least a minor error– anywhere from 1% to 5% of prescriptions contains one error or another.

So, what do you do when you receive the wrong medication at CVS pharmacies?

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’VE RECEIVED THE WRONG MEDICATION

If you’ve just realized you’ve been taking the wrong medication, you should first contact your pharmacist, doctor, or emergency room– particularly if you are noticing any odd side effects.

Make sure that you keep all documentation of the wrong medication error.  Keep the bottle, the pills, the prescription, and any receipts, notes, voicemails, or other documentation from your healthcare providers.

Then, it is important to remember that you have rights.  If you’ve received the wrong medication, your pharmacy should first apologize and agree to pay any of the expenses you may have as a result.

Then, you might consider suing or filing a claim.  You may be wondering whether or not it is worth it to do this.

The answer is yes. You are entitled to surprisingly large amounts of compensation if you have:

  • Experienced pain and suffering (diarrhea/vomiting for 24-48 hours, as well as sleeplessness, amounts to pain and suffering)
  • Lost any wages
  • Lost other sorts of income
  • Incurred large medical bills
  • Incurred a great amount of medical debt
  • Became permanently injured
  • Became impaired in some way

 

You may have reservations because your pharmacist seems like a good person.  However, if your suffering goes un-documented, a large company like CVS will never understand how it may have caused harm.  A chain pharmacy, like CVS, prefers to pay off your relatively small claim.  Otherwise, they’ll have to find and train new workers– something that costs them even more money in the long term.

Holding CVS accountable may also encourage the company to invest more in their staff.  CVS in particular has been known to do this.  In 2013, CVS paid $665 thousand in New Jersey because poor training led to hundreds of medication errors.

 

HOW DOES TAKING THE WRONG PRESCRIPTION AFFECT YOU?

There are a number of prescription errors that are common.  Some are fairly innocuous, but others can cause permanent and catastrophic damage.

The easiest error to understand is a dosage error.  Since prescriptions are measured in milligrams, it is easy to get the dosage wrong by a factor of ten.  If someone accidentally moves a decimal point or switches a zero, then you might have 30 mg instead of .03 mg. This difference can be very dangerous.  A difference of one zero can be the difference between life and death in some cases.

Other errors can include mixing up two similar-looking pills, and accidentally giving patients pills that have similar names.

If you’ve received the wrong medication, you may have had some unexpected side effects.  Maybe you experienced some effects immediately– nausea, vomiting, sleeplessness, and fatigue are all common side effects of taking the incorrect medication.  However, the medicine may have a cumulative effect, and it may take you months to recognize the effects.

Even if you don’t notice the effects right away, you still may experience difficulties or medical issues due to having taken the wrong prescription.  If a child or elderly family member has taken the wrong prescription, it may be difficult to tell right away what the issue is, even if that person is experiencing pain and suffering.

Taking the wrong medication has a variety of consequences.  As a result, you may not realize the number and severity of the consequences until later.  However, you may have lost time, wages, or income.  You may have suffered or been in pain.

All of these issues entitle you to compensation from the pharmacy that caused them.

 

HOW CAN YOU BENEFIT?

If you’ve experienced an error that led you to receive the wrong medication, you can receive compensation at varying amounts for different forms of suffering.

If you’ve received medical bills, or if you’ve found yourself in a great amount of medical debt, you may receive compensation which allows you to pay it back.

If you’ve lost any kind of income, you may receive compensation which acknowledges that lost income.

If you’ve lost wages due to missing work, or lost wages due to losing a job, you can be compensated for this.

If the victim of the medication error has experienced a great deal of pain and suffering, you can be awarded compensation as a form of recognition.

If you have any other damages that are not covered by the above points, but which happened as a result of taking the wrong medication, you might receive compensation.  This form of compensation would be for damages caused by taking the wrong medication.