Taking prescribed medication is supposed to make patients feel better. Unfortunately, there are too many cases involving people who actually feel much worse after taking medication if is it not the right kind of drug or if it was improperly prescribed.
A person can suffer potentially devastating consequences of a medication error. If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of this type of mistake, you should understand your options for taking legal action against the appropriate party. However, determining who may be held liable may not be as simple as it sounds.
Medication errors are typically made during one of three steps: manufacturing a drug, prescribing a drug and filling a prescription.
It is possible that a drug was dangerous or defective before it even reached a pharmacy or doctor's office. Drug manufacturers can make mistakes when they are making the drug, when they label the drug and when they list the side effects and potential complications. If it can be shown that the drug itself was made or distributed improperly, the drug maker can face a product liability claim.
A doctor can be the cause of a medication error if he or she prescribes the wrong one or makes a mistake in dosing. For example, if a doctor fails to take into account a patient's other medication and prescribes something that can lead to serious complications or if the doctor means to prescribe one drug and accidentally writes down another, he or she may be the one to hold accountable for damages.
A pharmacist can also be the cause of a medication error. There have been cases when a pharmacist misreads or misinterprets a doctor's dosing instructions and gives a person a medication that is either too weak or too strong. In other cases, pharmacists might give the wrong medication to the wrong patient. If a drug was improperly filled at the pharmacy, a person could have a claim against that party.
Figuring out when a medication error was made and who is responsible for it can be tricky, especially because people typically try to push the blame onto someone else. However, victims of this kind of mistake can find great relief in working with an attorney who can anticipate these types of challenges, identify the appropriate party, and pursue a claim for damages.