Every day, patients across Arizona visit their doctors and pharmacies for advice about medication. This results in hundreds of thousands of prescriptions being issued to and taken by patients who reasonably expect that these medications will not harm them. Unfortunately, patients across Arizona continue to be harmed by medication errors. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause serious – and in some cases, irreversible and permanent – damage. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication error, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Injury victims have the legal right to be compensated for their financial losses.
The Statistics on Medication Errors
Medication errors are a worldwide problem. The World Health Organization reports that studies have identified varying rates of medication errors in countries from all parts of the globe. One study found 12% of all primary care patients in the United Kingdom experienced an error in the prescribing or monitoring of their medication. (This rate was more than three times higher for patients over the age of 75, who had a 38% error rate in these areas.) Another study found an error rate of just under 20% in Saudi Arabia, while one in Mexico found a that a whopping 58% of prescriptions contained an error.
Here in the United States, the problem of medication errors is also pervasive. American Nurse Today reports that medication errors cause more than seven thousand deaths nationwide every year. And unfortunately Arizona, in particular, has very limited public efforts aimed at addressing the problem of medication errors. QuPS.org – an advocacy group dedicated to quality and patient safety – reports that Arizona has no reporting program for medication errors or adverse side effects. In addition, the state legislature and Department of Public Health were reported to have limited resources and public support for addressing issues of patient safety. Because of this, there are very few administrative consequences (such as fines or license suspension) for medical professionals or facilities which commit medication errors. This makes it even more important for an injured patient to hold them accountable through civil lawsuits.
Who is Legally Responsible for a Medication Error?
There are many different persons and companies which may be legally responsible (“liable”) for causing a medication error. A doctor or nurse practitioner may be liable for prescribing a medication that is inappropriate for your illness, or a dosage which is incorrect. A pharmacist may be liable for filling a prescription incorrectly. The pharmacy which employs a negligent pharmacist may also be liable. Drug manufacturers can also be liable for improperly making medications, or placing dangerous medications on the market. This liability can be applied to prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Aggressive Representation for Your Medical Malpractice Case
The personal injury attorneys at Fite Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating medical malpractice claims. Our firm holds negligent medical professionals and medication manufacturers accountable for conduct which puts patients in danger. We also fight hard for the compensation injury victims deserve. After any medication error injury, contact our office as soon as possible. You can schedule your free consultation by calling (602) 368-1869, or emailing our office at email@example.com.