Prescription errors are startlingly common, particularly when it comes to chain pharmacies like Walgreens. If you, like many others, have found yourself the victim of a Walgreens medication mix-up, you should consider contacting a lawyer. You may be entitled to financial compensation.
Multiple jurors have found Walgreens to be liable for incorrect prescriptions in the past. In some cases, Walgreens has been found liable for exchanging pills for blood pressure with pills for schizophrenia– a disastrous mistake to make for a person with blood pressure problems.
Even though the results can be devastating or fatal, pharmaceutical errors still persist.
This is because large chains like Walgreens benefit from practices that overwork their employees. In some cases, employees have been pressured to fill dozens of prescriptions every hour, or hundreds of prescriptions in a day.
This sort of pressure on pharmacists increases the risk for errors that affect families, children, and the elderly. If you or your family have suffered as a result of Walgreens’ practices, you might be able to file a claim. This way, you can hold Walgreens accountable, and be compensated for any suffering or losses.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’VE TAKEN THE WRONG MEDICATION
As always, safety first! If you were not able to catch the mistake, and you have taken the wrong medication, contact your doctor and your pharmacist. If you are suffering odd side effects or pain, contact an emergency room.
Then, make sure to contact a lawyer. Contacting a lawyer early on will keep you from making any mistakes that might hurt your case.
At this time, begin collecting and saving your documentation. The most important documentation is your prescription bottle and bag, as well any of the incorrect pills or medication you might have. Be sure to keep your pills in a safe, separate place to avoid continuing to take the wrong medication.
If you have receipts, notes from your doctor, or voicemails documenting your visits to the doctor and pharmacy, as these may all be helpful as well.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF TAKING THE WRONG MEDICATION?
There are a number of negative side effects that can be caused by taking the incorrect medication.
You may find that you run into issues immediately. You may have nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, fatigue, sleeplessness, or other symptoms. You may also experience issues as a result of not having your medication, without many additional effects from a new medication. In cases where people need to regulate their blood pressure, strokes or heart attacks can be an issue.
Sometimes the medication error is caught more quickly if the effects are immediate. However, if it takes a long time to recognize the effects, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any effects.
Long-term effects can still cause damages to your body or to your way of life. For example, if sleeplessness, nausea, fatigue, or pain cause you to miss work, this is a long-term effect of the medication.
If you incur medical expenses as a result of immediate or long-term effects of receiving the wrong medication, these could be consequences that are considered the fault of the pharmacy or pharmacist.
WHEN CAN I FILE A CLAIM?
If you’ve received the wrong medication due to a pharmacist’s error, you might not know which errors are eligible for a claim. You should contact a lawyer if the errors you’ve noticed include any of the following:
- Error in dosage
- Error in intended recipient (you received someone else’s medication)
- Incorrect medication
- Error in consultation (if your pharmacist did not tell you how to properly take the medication)
- Any errors in your child’s medication
Once you’ve found that you have experienced any of the above errors, any of the following consequences may make you eligible for a financial award:
- Any extended pain and suffering as a result of side effects or missed medication.
- Any loss of income– wages, or other income
- Any medical bills or medical debt that was not possible to pay as a result of incorrect or missed medication
- Permanent injury or impairment caused by direct or indirect effects of taking the wrong medication
WHAT BENEFITS ARE THERE TO FILING A CLAIM?
Your pharmacist is most likely a good person who did not mean to make a mistake. However, the policies of Walgreens or other big box pharmacies put both pharmacists and patients at risk. The only way that a company like Walgreens will acknowledge your individual suffering is if it is forced to do so.
In most cases, large chains prefer to pay a claim, especially if the claim is small relative to the size of the company. In some cases, the cost of a claim is less than the cost of finding a new employee.
Individual claims also create an environment that encourages better staffing and better care and education practices.
As far as the benefits that filing a claim can have for you as a client, the list is as follows:
Pain/suffering compensation: If you physically and mentally suffered as a result of receiving the wrong medication, you can be entitled to a financial award. This award recognizes the pain that may have been caused to you, as well as any trauma that you may have suffered.
Lost wages/income compensation: As a result of a pharmacist’s error, you may have suffered fatigue, sleeplessness, or illness that caused you to miss work. You may have even found yourself out of a job as a result. In addition to wages, courts also recognize other forms of income that you may have lost. In all cases, compensation is meant to replace any of the lost income that you may have suffered as a result of taking the wrong medication.
Medical bill and debt: Side effects of wrong medication can cause injury and illness that make extra hospital visits necessary. If these bills are significant, or if you’ve gone into debt as a result of these bills, you are often entitled to a financial award.
Injury: If you were injured by taking the wrong medication, or missing your medication, courts may find that you are entitled to an award.
Damages: Damages might be any miscellaneous costs that accumulate due to illness and side effects caused by taking the incorrect medication.