Lawsuit alleges Walgreens pharmacist gave man wrong prescription drug

There’s a CVS pharmacy down the street from our office. Day and night, that place stays busy. Chain and independent pharmacies in Texas and throughout the United States fill and dispense thousands of prescriptions every day.

Most of the time, the drug-filling process starts with an electronic prescription generated and transmitted by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. Some prescriptions, though, begin with the patient delivering a paper prescription to the pharmacy.

Once the pharmacy receives a medication prescription, it’s up to the pharmacy staff to process it using the pharmacy’s computer system.

Drug contraindications and interactions

Pharmacy computer systems are fantastic when it comes to identifying and warning against potential problems with the prescription.

Contraindications mean that the drug should never be given to a particular patient for any reason. A contraindication red flag is often triggered when a patient’s taking another medication that can’t be mixed with the new prescription. In those situations, there can be a drug contraindication when a patient has certain medical conditions.

Warnings are a step down from contraindications and are often triggered in pharmacy computer systems based on the patient’s prescription history. When a warning is generated, the standard of care requires the pharmacy staff to take note of the potential problem and may require consulting with the ordering physician or provider to make sure the benefit outweighs the risks.

Medication errors

Another type of pharmacy malpractice involves filling and dispensing the wrong medication altogether. According to a new medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Walgreens, that’s what happened to a man in his 50s who went to a pharmacy to pick up his prescription for a blood thinner medication called Brilanta.

The lawsuit alleges that the Walgreens pharmacist gave him a different prescription medication, which caused serious permanent, and disabling injuries.

Needless to say, the standard of care requires pharmacists to verify that they are filling and dispensing the same medication that was prescribed.

What you can do

With so many prescription transactions that happen on a daily basis in pharmacies, here are some steps that you can take to improve your own safety.

• Ask your doctor or provider for a printed copy of any prescriptions.

• When you pick up a prescription from the pharmacy, take advantage of any free counseling that’s offered. Under Texas law, pharmacies are required to offer free counseling for new prescriptions. Ask questions about potential drug interactions and any side effects that you may experience.

• When the pharmacy staff gives you the medication bag, compare the bag printout and the medication label with the printed copy of the prescription from your physician or provider. Make sure they all have the same medication name, dosage, and instructions. If not, show any discrepancy to the pharmacist.

• When given a bottle of prescription medication pills, do a quick inspection to make sure that all of the pills are the same size and appearance. We handled a case against a major pharmacy for a client whose prescription bottle had two types of pills in it. After taking the wrong medication, he ended up in an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

If you’ve been seriously injured because of medication were pharmacy errors in Texas, then contact a top-rated, experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney for a free consultation about your potential case.

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.