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Who is to blame: the drug, your doctor or your pharmacist?

You and your loved ones take the medications that have been prescribed to you with full confidence that they will produce promised relief. However, there may be times when not only do you not see improvements, but your condition rapidly deteriorates. When this happens, it is almost certainly due to an adverse reaction to the drug. The question then becomes whose fault is it: the manufacturer of the drug, the doctor who prescribed, or the pharmacy in The Woodlands that filled it? 

The easiest potential culprit to rule out might the drug manufacturer. Without a drug recall or other record showing the potential for a drug to cause harm, it may be difficult to prove that it is defective. Assigning liability to a pharmacist might be equally as easy if you can show that the medication that you received is not the drug that you were prescribed, or that the dosage strength does not match that which was assigned by your doctor. If a pharmacy issues you incorrect dosing guidelines or administration instructions, such an error may also leave it liable for any harm it causes you or a loved one to endure. 

Ultimately, however, a majority of medication errors are found to be the fault of a doctor or healthcare provider. Research data shared by the National Institutes of Health showed the most common causes of drug errors attributed to doctors to be: 

  • Inadequate knowledge of the clinical characteristics of a drug and/or your personal medical history 
  • Hectic working conditions
  • Poorly defined prescribing procedures
  • Breakdowns in communication between doctors, nurses and pharmacists

You should not solely rely on this information, however, to assume the cause of your medication error. Extensive research may be needed to determine the actual cause. 

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