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Dear Spencer:

You are a Florida lawyer who sues pharmacies, right?

Last week I picked up my prescription from my local for drug store and when I got home I realized I had been given the wrong drugs, Can I sue them?

Thanks, Wrongly Medicated in Miami

Dear Wrongly Medicated:

Thank you for your email. Yes, I represent people injured by drug store errors. You should know that the FDA has said that there are 5 common medication errors:

* incomplete patient information (not knowing about patients’ allergies, other medicines they are taking, previous diagnoses, and lab results, for example);
* unavailable drug information (such as lack of up-to-date warnings);
* miscommunication of drug orders, which can involve poor handwriting, confusion between drugs with similar names, misuse of zeroes and decimal points, confusion of metric and other dosing units, and inappropriate abbreviations;
* lack of appropriate labeling as a drug is prepared and repackaged into smaller units; and
* environmental factors, such as lighting, heat, noise, and interruptions, that can distract health professionals from their medical tasks.

I can assure you, you are not alone. The Institute of Medicine reports that there are around 1.5 million medication error injuries that happen every year, with at least 7,000 deaths.Thankfully, you realized the error before you took the medication.

I first recommend that you contact the FDA and report the error. You should call: (888) 463-6332. Also you should advise the pharmacy, in writing of the error.

Florida law applies a two year statute of limitations to pharmacy malpractice cases. That means you have two years to file a lawsuit from when you knew or should have known of the error and that the error has caused you harm. In your case, thankfully, you were not harmed by the mistake. Even in cases where the wrong medication was taken, it is sometimes difficult if not impossible to prove that the patient was harmed by the error.

Thank you for your email,
Spencer Aronfeld