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Pharmacy Mistake Lawsuits in Philadelphia

June 6th, 2014

If you’re one of those who have come to think of large pharmacy companies as your local neighborhood pharmacy, then the notion that you might need to exercise extra precautions before taking the medication that the pharmacist dispensed to you might be shocking. But as more and more pharmacies around the country are attempting to boost their profits by cutting back on staff, overworked and often under-qualified pharmacy employees are making more mistakes, and some of them are putting lives in jeopardy.

A negligence claim was recently filed against a large pharmacy company by a  woman following having undergone a laparoscopic gastrectomy two days prior. This procedure is a popular alternative to the bariatric bypass surgery, and is designed to assist in weight loss for those who have a high body mass index (BMI) and who are not good candidates for the bypass because of other medical issues.

Though the woman had been prescribed Lovenox, a self-injectable anti-coagulant that is frequently prescribed for those who have undergone abdominal surgery. The medication prevents patients who have restricted mobility from developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potential stroke risk. Though the prescription was written for a dose with a strength of 0.4 ML, the pharmacy allegedly provided her with 1 ML doses. The suit further alleges that in addition to filling the prescription with the wrong medication, the printed instructions that were provided to the plaintiff, Lorraine Farley, were also incorrect.

Ms. Farley suffered symptoms of a gastrointestinal bleed, a potentially life-threatening condition that required her being taken to the emergency room several days later. The suit is seeking over $50,000 in damages, claiming that the pharmacy was negligent in their preparation and dispensing of the medication.

As patients, we rely on the knowledge, skill and care of pharmacists to make sure that the medications that our physicians have prescribed for us are prepared properly. The difference in a dosage or in providing the wrong medication might be a momentary mistake on the part of a pharmacy staff member, but can also make the difference between life and death for the unfortunate pharmacy client who is on the receiving end of that carelessness. This is especially true in situations where the patient is already medically compromised.

Though we may still envision pharmacies as they were in the old days, with caring pharmacists that take the time to check and double-check medications and even going so far as to call physicians when they have a question,  today’s pharmacies are serving larger populations and filling more prescriptions with fewer staff, and many of those staff members are not trained as pharmacists: instead they are supervised by licensed pharmacists that often don’t take the time to check their work. If you or someone you love has been provided the wrong prescription, an incorrect dose or has been provided incorrect labeling and instructions, the pharmacy may be held responsible for any injury that follows.

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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

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