Florida Prescription Error Law: The Goal is to Limit Errors – But it’s not a Guarantee
An accountant visits his Internal Medicine physician for a routine check-up. It’s tax-time and the poor fellow is working around-the-clock. The doctor writes a prescription for an acid-blocking medication because the stressed out patient complains of acid-indigestion.
The same patient visits his cardiologist a week later and that doctor recommends medications for blood pressure and cholesterol.
Finally, a week later the high-anxiety CPA wakes up with a throbbing tooth ache, and his dentist gives him a prescription for pain pills.
What will happen if he takes all these medications together? This is where the pharmacist plays a critical role in patient care because he or she is the central point where all these drugs come together, hopefully, and possible interactions are identified.
For Medicare patients, there are now organizations called Accountable Care Organizations.
What is an accountable care organization?
An ACO is a network of doctors and hospitals that shares responsibility for providing care to patients. In the new law, an ACO would agree to manage all of the health care needs of a minimum of 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries for at least three years. It is unknown exactly what information is shared.
There are also proposals for national information systems to monitor seriously addictive opioid medications to reduce persons from obtaining these drugs by prescription and then selling them.
You may have heard of Medical Groups, often named after a regional hospital. For example Holy Cross Medical Group in South Florida is comprised of independent doctors affiliated with the hospital who share some medical information with each other.
The level of exchange methodology and type of information shared is uncertain with groups like these, and there is no guarantee that negative drug interactions will be prevented.
Every patient is asked to fill out a Patient Information Form, listing all the prescription drugs currently being taken. Everyone has filled one of these forms out, and everyone knows it’s hard to remember the names and dosages of each and every medication.
So, we come back to the pharmacist. Each pharmacist has a very critical responsibility before a prescription is filled, to be aware of potential hazards for a patient taking multiple drugs. Errors happen, and when they do the damage to a patient can be extremely serious.
Take the time to speak with your pharmacists and make them aware of what drugs you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has made the area of prescription errors a special part of their practice for over 20 years. They understand drug interactions, pharmacy & pharmacist responsibilities, and the need to protect the rights of sick and injured patients.
Gary and Arleen Lazarus will be happy to meet with you, discuss your situation, and then recommend a course of action that will see to it you receive any compensation that is warranted by the errors of any medical professional.
Call Lazarus and Lazarus at 954-356-0006 for a consultation.