Pharmacy Errors & Prescription Mistakes | Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.

Pharmacy Errors & Prescription Mistakes

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Mistakes in the pharmacy field cannot only jeopardize a person’s employment or tarnish the brand who distributed the medicine, but it can also result in serious health hazards or even death to the individual who took the prescription. According to, pharmacy errors kill almost 100,000 individuals annually. The same mistakes within the pharmaceutical field injure over 1.3 million people annually.

Common Pharmacy Mistakes

In addition to incorrect dosage and wrong medication, other common pharmacy errors include:

  • Failure to catch harmful drug interactions
  • Failure to provide adequate information regarding the drug
  • Misfiled prescription or error in reading a doctor’s prescription
  • Confusion over similar-looking drugs

Why Do Medication Errors Happen?

These mistakes can be caused by fewer pharmacists handling more prescriptions and an emphasis on speed over accuracy. Some other factors include:

  • Distractions: Physicians have many duties and calls to their attention. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes they will incorrectly write a medication type or dosage. It’s thought that 75% of all medication errors happen because of such distractions.
  • Illegible Writing: Physicians are practically infamous for their indecipherable script on prescriptions. If a pharmacist then tries to guess at the dosage or medication type, it could have serious consequences for the patient. Of course, nowadays, many prescriptions are done electronically, which helps to lessen the risk.
  • Poor Communication: This can happen between the doctor and the patient, between two different physicians, and between the physician and the pharmacy. Drug names often sound alike and drug abbreviations can create even more confusion that leads to error and injury for the patient.

Patient Education

Proper education empowers the patient to participate in their own health care and safeguard against errors. Some examples of instructions to patients that can help prevent medication errors are:

  • Know the proper names of your medications
  • Read the medication information sheet provided by your pharmacists
  • Do not share your medications
  • Check the expiration date of your medications and dispose of expired drugs
  • Learn about proper drug storage
  • Learn about potential drug interactions and warnings

Contact Us

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a medication error, it is imperative to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Our personal injury lawyers understand the complex medical and legal issues associated with medication error lawsuits. We strive to maximize recovery for our clients, and to help them get their lives back on track. For a free consultation with our team at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., contact us today.


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Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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