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Diabetes medication Metformin often mixed up by pharmacies

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has documented numerous cases in which pharmacists have incorrectly given Metronidazole to customers suffering from diabetes, rather than Metformin, resulting in serious injuries. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that treats numerous infections. Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. The similar sounding names are often a source of confusion for pharmacists, who are pressured to fill prescriptions at a fast pace, and have little time to interact with customers. Another source of the errors is illegible handwriting on prescriptions written by doctors.

In one documented case, a patient who spoke little English and had only recently been diagnosed with diabetes was prescribed Metformin 500 mg twice a day by his family physician. Upon showing his doctor the prescription bottle at a later visit, the doctor noticed that the label said: “Metronidazole” rather than Metformin.

A source of this medication error was that the computer screen reads “METF” for Metformin and “METR” for Metronidazole. The pharmacist typed “MET” in the computer and accidentally selected Metronidazole.

Mix ups such as this can be harmful, and even fatal. Diabetes is a serious medical condition. More than 100 million Americans are prediabetic or diabetic. For those suffering from diabetes, Metformin is essential to lower their blood sugar.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.

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Wrong prescription hurts a woman’s ability to conceive

An Oregon plaintiff alleged that an incorrect prescription given to her by her pharmacist injured her ability to conceive. The woman’s physician prescribed her Clomiphene. Clomiphene is a medication used to help fertility. The pharmacist accidentally gave her Clomipramine, an anti-depressant.

After taking a dose of the incorrect medication, the woman was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. The woman’s fertility treatments had to be halted while she recovered from the incident, thereby negatively impacting her ability to conceive.

The woman filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy for $680,000. The outcome of the suit is unknown. The injured customer alleged lost earnings, present and future medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Medication errors involving similar sounding medications, such as Clomiphene and Clomipramine, are common place. Coupled with poor handwritten prescriptions, it is not surprising that these types of mistakes occur.

Many pharmacists complain of the demand of having to fill more prescriptions every day, and long, intense shifts with few breaks. They often express concern over the volume of mistakes.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


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Massachusetts pharmacy malpractice law

In Massachusetts, a pharmacy and its employees, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, have a legally duty to properly fill prescriptions. Negligent failure to do so can result in a tort action, also known as a personal injury claim. The claim may be brought by the injured customer or the heirs of a deceased party.

While the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a pharmacy ordinarily has no legal obligation to warn customers of a prescription medication’s side effects, “when a pharmacy’s communication with a patient concerning a drug is limited to a single label warning of only one side effect, the pharmacy has undertaken a duty to warn correctly as to that specific effect, but not undertaken a broader duty to warn of all potential side effects.” However, when a pharmacy gives it customers more detailed lists of warnings- or promises in advertisements to give customers warning information regarding their prescriptions, it undertakes such a duty, and can be liable for negligence.

Pharmacy malpractice claims are often expert intensive as to causation of injuries, and the standard of care required of the pharmacist. The standard of care for a pharmacist in Massachusetts is what the average, ordinary, prudent pharmacist would have done under the same circumstances.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


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Massachusetts pharmacy’s can be sued for incomplete warnings

In 2002 a Massachusetts court decided a case in which a customer of CVS suffered permanent injuries after taking Trazodone. Trazodone is considered an antidepressant. The medication was dispensed by a pharmacist at CVS, and prescribed by the customer’s therapist.

A side effect of the medication is priapism (involuntary, persistent erection). Delayed treatment can result in permanent impotence. At the time, CVS had a computer system that gave customers written warnings of risks and side effects associated with their prescribed medication. The injured customer testified that he was given the short form warning listed some side effects, but not priapism.

After becoming permanently impotent, the customer sued CVS and its pharmacist for failing to warn him of the side effects. The customer’s argument was that CVS assumed a duty to warn him, by providing him a list of side effects. 

While a pharmacy generally has no duty to warn its customers of side effects, the court held that CVS assumed a duty by giving the customer a list of side effects which could reasonably be interpreted as complete and comprehensive. When a pharmacy gives a list of warnings, or promises in its advertising to give customers such information, ‘it may thereby undertake a duty to provide complete warnings and information.’

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


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Methadone overdose caused by nurse’s mistake

In a case arising out of Canada, an 85 year old man died after receiving Methadone that was intended for a female patient that was formerly in his hospital room. Methadone is used to treat severe pain and can also treat drug addiction. In the United States, Methadone is blamed for 1/3 of prescription painkiller deaths.

This case illustrates how medication errors can happen in a hospital setting, and also how preventable these mistakes are. A series of errors took place which contributed to the man’s death. Most obvious, a nurse accidentally wrote a methadone prescription from a female patient’s chart onto the victim’s chart. Proper hospital protocols should have been in place to alert the nurse that this patient was not prescribed Methadone.

The hospital’s negligence was alleged to have been the cause of this man’s death. When a hospital is negligent in dispensing medication to its patients, the deceased’s relatives are legally entitled to financial compensation. Compensation aka damages may include:

  • medical and funeral expenses
  • loss of the victim’s future earnings
  • loss of consortium
  • punitive damages varies by state
  • Other damages provided for under state statute

Regardless of the cause of the error, mistakes such as this are far to common. A study by Johns Hopkins estimates over a quarter of a million Americans die each year from medical errors. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by cancer and heart disease.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


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