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How people can ensure their prescriptions are correct

North Carolina residents trust their pharmacists to correctly fill their prescriptions. However, medication errors still take place. Whenever a pharmacist fills a patient's prescription with the incorrect medication, the wrong amount of pills or gives the wrong dosage directions, grave harm could take place.

In 2010, a court awarded a Florida woman's family $33 million in a wrongful death claim they filed against a nationwide drugstore chain. The woman died after a pharmacy mistakenly gave her blood thinner medication instead of breast cancer medication. Since the blood thinner was 10 times the actual dosage, she developed a brain hemorrhage, which caused her to end her cancer treatment.

In another incident, a well-known pharmacy had issued Tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug, to New Jersey children who were supposed to get fluoride instead. While none of the children were seriously hurt, this mistake could have resulted in severe repercussions had the medication been at unsafe doses for the children.

It is advisable for people to confirm with their doctors the prescription's name, dosage and instructions. While electronic prescriptions tend to be more legible than handwritten ones, patients are not given a paper copy of the prescription. Therefore, it can be beneficial for patients receiving their medications at the pharmacy to open the bag and ensure they have the correct medication. According to a recent report, this one precaution has decreased prescription-related errors by more than 50 percent.

Victims of medication errors might consider seeking compensation for their losses through a lawsuit. An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation can often be of assistance in this regard.

Health, "A Pharmacy Screwed Up My Rx and I Took the Wrong Drug for a Month", Jennifer Marquez, Feb. 11, 2016

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