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When the Prescription Is Wrong

Many people think that medical malpractice is strictly something a doctor does wrong. Pharmacists are also guilty of prescription errors.

You go to the doctor because you don’t feel well and get a prescription to deal with whatever your problem happens to be. So far, so good. But, what happens when the prescription “you” get isn’t what the doctor ordered? And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things that may go wrong when having a prescription filled. Ask a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer about this and you’d be surprised what the answer may be.

How many people do you know who check their prescriptions when they get them? If you’re like most people, you just assume that what you have in the bag is what you’re supposed to take; you also assume that the doctor ordered the right thing for you, in the right amount and that it’s safe to take with your other medications, etc. Some of these assumptions may be deadly.

Prescription mistakes can happen either with the doctor, with the pharmacist or with them both. That revelation likely won’t make your day, but it’s important to know. At any given time the doctor may give the patient the wrong drug to take; in doing that, it’s a prescription error. If the doctor gives the wrong dosage, that is also a prescription error, but the thing is, it’s not “only” the doctor that makes mistakes. And if you suspect you have gotten the wrong prescription, it’s wise to consult with a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

There are many different kinds of errors that may happen when it comes to prescriptions and drugs; for example, medications that were improperly prescribed without checking the patient’s “other” medications for interactions. While the doctor may not always be totally tuned in to what other drugs you are taking, simply because they don’t always remember, the pharmacist has your complete drug history at the click of a mouse. There are no excuses to miss a potential drug reaction, and yet it happens.

Improperly labeled drugs are another nightmare in the making and if the pharmacist isn’t on the ball, the unthinkable could happen. If the order for drugs for the patient is filled incorrectly, things may go awry. If the pharmacist or his assistant isn’t totally familiar with all the abbreviations used in dispensing drugs, this could result in an overdose. And, if the doctor’s handwriting isn’t easily legible, that may end up with a dose of drugs that is either too high or too low, or the wrong drug entirely.

If you’re racing for your medicine cabinet, good for you. It’s wise to check what you are taking just to make sure you have the right stuff. However, having said that, the time to double check and ask questions is at the doctor’s office and then again at the pharmacy. It’s “your” life and health; you have a right to ask. Think about this for a minute – there are roughly 7,000 deaths a year in the US caused by prescription errors. That number includes innocent children, as well as adults – one in eighteen to be exact.

If you have been a victim of a prescription error, you’d want to discuss your situation with a qualified and dedicated New Hampshire personal injury lawyer. You need to know what your legal rights are and what compensation you may be able to recoup.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit

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