Getting the Wrong Prescription: Can You Sue?

Updated on March 31, 2021

Prescription drugs are used by 119 million Americans. These are supposed to help improve our health, but that is not always the case. There are cracks in the system and, sometimes you do not get the right medication. This can be due to procedure error or human error. Either way, the consequences of getting the wrong prescription can be quite detrimental to your health.

An estimated 4.55 billion prescriptions will be filled in 2021 throughout the US. How many of these will be wrong? The error might occur on behalf of the doctor or the pharmacy that offered you the medication. In either case, you can sue, provided that you meet certain conditions. The best way to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit is to consult a lawyer. They will analyze the specifics of your case before reaching a decision.

Doctor Gives You the Wrong Prescription

You must offer a complete description of your health during your consultation with the doctor. Do not hold back on any information, regardless of how trivial it might seem. Make sure that you give the doctor all the data he needs to make an informed decision regarding your prescription. If you fail to do so, they might not be held liable for the wrong medication.

Your doctor may qualify for medical malpractice if they did any of the following:

  • Prescribe a medication to which the patient has an allergic reaction
  • Prescribe improper instructions (regarding dosage, duration, frequency, risks, and so on).
  • The prescribed medication causes an adverse reaction by interacting with other treatments or due to underlying health conditions 
  • Prescribe inefficient medication.

Pharmacy Gives You the Wrong Prescription

If you get your medication from a pharmacy based on the correct doctor’s prescription, you can receive the wrong item. We all know how difficult reading a doctor’s handwriting can be, so pharmacists are faced with this task daily. They can misread something, which may lead them to give you the wrong medication. Many pharmaceutical names are very similar misreading even one or two letters can mean a completely different item.

Still, the most frequent source of error is the prescription label. This can present a set of inaccurate instructions that might induce in error those who read it. 

Do You Have a Case?

This kind of lawsuit has complicated legal implications. So, if you suspect that you might have something, start by contacting a qualified lawyer. For a lawsuit like this, you need legal guidance. Misfiled or harmful prescriptions do qualify for financial recovery, so make sure that you get it. Source: 

It is not always easy to identify a culprit for a wrong prescription. The medical system is complex, and there are several players involved even in you getting a pill (doctor, pharmacist, pharmaceutics company, to mention just a few). Also, it is not necessary only to attribute fault there must be viable proof as well. 

These are the three main aspects you should consider to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit:

  • Establish a medical standard of care
  • Prove how the standard of care was not met in your case
  • Show the harm caused by the wrong prescription

As you see, legal proceedings mostly revolve around the concept of the medical standard of care. The concept refers to the aid offered by medical professionals with similar experiences within the same community. To determine this, usually, another medical expert in the field is consulted.

Seek Legal Counsel

Getting the wrong prescriptions does not necessarily have a devastating effect on the patient’s health. It can be harmless if you are lucky. Still, your health should not be an issue of luck. If you are involved in an incident that caused you injury, do not hesitate to seek counsel and pursue legal action to secure the compensation you are entitled to.

image 7

 About the Author

Samantha Alvord is a legal expert and a passionate writer who works tirelessly to inform people about the field of personal injury, her area of specialty. She has a talent for making complex legal concepts accessible to the public. It is Samantha’s goal to present a clear and structured piece to the reader, which can easily be used as a guide to solving legal matters.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.