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Information on Pharmacy Errors

Serving Clients Throughout New York City for Close to 30 Years

A pharmacy error occurs when a pharmacist gives you the wrong drug, someone else’s prescription, the wrong dosage, the wrong amount of drugs, two or more drugs that have adverse reactions together, drugs that you are allergic to, expired drugs, or any other number of negligent mistakes. A pharmacy error can result in extending your illness, making you ill in other ways, and sometimes even death. If you have huge medical bills and lost wages because you were ill due to a pharmacy error, you may be able to get compensation for those lost wages and to cover your medical expenses.

Errors Caused by Unclear Abbreviations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) addressed the issue of unclear medical abbreviations in 2006 being the cause of serious medication errors. It was noted that in a lot of cases, pharmaceutical notes with abbreviations were clearly misinterpreted leading to the incorrect amount or type of drug being administered. This came on the heels of a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) stating that medication errors caused over seven thousand deaths annually. A sample of the common abbreviations noted for causing significant confusion included:

  • U (“Unit”) – Mistaken for 0, 4 and CC
  • IU (“International Unit”) – Mistaken for IV, 10
  • Trailing Zero (Ex: 5.0 mg) – Missed decimal. Read as 50 mg
  • Missing Leading Zero (Ex: .5 mg) – Missed decimal. Read as 5 mg
  • MS04 (“Morphine Sulfate”) – Confused with MgS04 (“magnesium sulfate”) and vice versa

You rely on your pharmacist to give you the correct prescription, correct dosage, and to fill your doctor’s wishes to the letter. It is a pharmacist’s job to be aware of what medications do not go well together, and to be aware of drug allergies that their customers may have. If you have suffered because of a pharmacy error in your prescription drugs, you may have a medical malpractice claim.

The Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein, PC is a legal firm that has extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice law and may be able to help you get compensation. Call a New York medical malpractice attorney from our office to learn more about how we could help you.