According to information from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), every year almost 1.3 million Americans suffer from injuries and illnesses that result from pharmaceutical mistakes and mishaps. In fact, it is reported that one person dies every day because of medication errors. These types of errors affect senior Americans in particular, with more and more of these individuals being on more than one medication. As a result, it is imperative for everyone – regardless of age – to understand how their pharmaceutical regimen may cause harm.
Regulation of Pharmaceuticals in the U.S.
The FDA is the entity that is responsible for ensuring that all pharmaceuticals used in the U.S. are property tested, labeled and recalled (if needed). The FDA has also reported that errors in medications can occur during any point in the distribution process, which includes:
- When the drug is prescribed
- During the repackaging process
- When the drug is dispensed
- During the administration of the drug
- Monitoring after the drug is taken
What is surprising is that there aren’t that many pharmaceutical errors that result from proper prescription and proper administration of the medicine. For example, it is extremely rare that taking a dose of a pain medication for a period of one week, as a doctor prescribed, would cause any type of serious or even fatal injury.
Causes of Medication Errors
The majority of injuries related to medications take place because of improper labeling by a physician, errors in dosage, etc. In fact, according to the FDA, the most common causes of medication errors include:
- A misunderstanding that occurs between the doctor and patient
- Confusion or a lack of clarity related to a products name or how to use it
- Improper distribution techniques
- Job stress
- Patient misuse
- Insufficient knowledge of the product
Common Pharmaceutical Caused Injuries and Illnesses
Since any drug you take will enter into your bloodstream, the drug is eventually going to pass through your kidneys as the body attempts to remove any toxins present. If a drug is not taken as prescribed or if you are given a dosage that is too high, the kidneys can be injured because of the increase in toxins. If this happens, the kidney function can be reduced, which may result in a serious illness. Liver and kidney failure are the most common issues that arise, which can be fatal.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been injured or made ill due to a prescription error or mistake, it is best to hire a personal injury attorney. They can review the facts of your case and determine whether or not you may be due monetary compensation. Unfortunately, medication mistakes are common, but you can receive compensation if you happen to be a victim.