A Jacksonville Beach woman was suffering from food poisoning when she called her doctor to see if there was anything the doctor could prescribe to help her nausea. The doctor wrote her a prescription for Phenergan, an anti-histamine commonly used to treat allergy symptoms as well as nausea. The woman’s husband dropped the prescription off at the Neptune Beach Walgreen’s pharmacy. Before her husband returned to pick up the prescription, her doctor realized that the prescription was written in error and called Walgreen’s pharmacy to cancel it. The doctor did not call the woman, however. Walgreen’s received the cancellation request, but had already filled the prescription and made it available for pick up.
The husband returned to pick up his wife’s prescription, unaware that it had been cancelled. For some reason, despite the fact that the doctor had called to cancel the prescription, it remained available for pick up at the Walgreen’s pharmacy. The husband brought the medicine back home to his wife, who took it as prescribed. She ended up in the hospital with severe damage to her central nervous system. She also experienced tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) as a symptom of the nerve damage. The dose of Phenergan prescribed by the doctor and filled by Walgreen’s was four times too strong.
Prior to her injuries, the woman had a high-paying job that she was forced to leave because she could no longer adequately perform. Just last week, after a three-week trial, a jury awarded the woman $1.4 million. the doctor, who was originally a part of the lawsuit, settled with Dthe womanfor an undisclosed amount.
In a statement, a Walgreen’s representative explained that these prescription drug errors are very rare and that there are multiple checks to ensure that this type of thing doesn’t happen.
It should come as no surprise to hear that prescription drugs can be extremely dangerous. If over-prescribed or improperly prescribed, most drugs can cause adverse reactions that might cause permanent personal injuries or death. This is the very reason that most of these drugs are regulated; they are dangerous if not taken properly. We should be able to trust our doctors and pharmacists to know what drugs are safe and to recommend safe courses of treatment.
The legal issues surrounding these cases can be quite complex. They may implicate both medical malpractice issues–where professional negligence is involved–as well as “ordinary” negligence, where basic carelessness occurs.
If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury due to improperly prescribed medication, give one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys a call. These types of cases are complex and can be expensive to litigate. But remember, because we work on a contingent-fee basis, you won’t incur any legal fees unless we can recover for you.
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