Medication Errors

Medication Errors — Montana Lawyers

Bozeman, MT Attorneys

Multiple parties are involved in prescribing and dispensing medication: a doctor, a pharmacist, possibly a nurse, the manufacturer, drug marketers, the Food and Drug Administration, and other doctors the patient has seen. The stereotypical "bad handwriting" of physicians is occasionally to blame for medication errors, but communication, incompetence, and carelessness cause thousands of incidents of harm or even death each year. Contact the Montana medication errors attorneys at Beck, Amsden & Stalpes, PLLC if you or a loved one has been harmed.

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There are tens of thousands of medications on the market today, most of them safe and effective if used appropriately. But keeping track of their interactions and how they should be prescribed is a task that requires great care and monitoring to avoid medication errors.

Dangerous Medicine

We've seen a case in Montana where multiple doctors negligently prescribed dangerous medications that can cause permanent neurological disorders. Even when the patient began to exhibit symptoms, instead of weaning her off the drug as a prudent doctor would do, the defendants increased her dosage. As a result, the patient has a lifetime disorder that prevents her from caring for her six-year old daughter. In another case, the patient's healthcare providers administered a medication and were supposed to monitor her for a potential allergic reaction. Instead they sent her home -- where she died from an allergic reaction.

Other medication errors include:

  • Failure to notice a dangerous interaction with a patient's other prescription medications
  • Overdosing and underdosing
  • Mislabeling
  • Prescribing or dispensing the wrong drug
  • Prescribing medication to which the patient has a known allergy
  • Failure to note or warn of serious side effects

Institutions May Be Liable

Institutions such as nursing homes serve a population that virtually all require medications. After the recent death of an elderly nursing home resident, the home tried to blame one lowly employee. In reality, medication errors were a repeated and systematic failure on the part of the institution, which was liable.

Drug marketers now advertise directly to patients, not just to doctors. They are marketing directly to people who have no way of knowing the potential dangers, yet may suffer devastating or fatal side effects.

Whether or not the drug was "approved" by the FDA, medical professionals and others can be held liable for malpractice. Contact the Bozeman, MT lawyers at Beck, Amsden & Stalpes, PLLC for information and a no-cost consultation.