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Auditors in New York discover high number of prescription errors

Many people rely on medications to help treat daily or recurring ailments. Some people only need prescription medicine for unexpected illnesses or injuries. But for any prescription or medication handed out, doctors need to be careful in writing the prescription and be aware of the instances where reliance on medicine can turn to abuse.
New York recently conducted an examination of over 22 million prescriptions dispended in the state. The State Comptroller’s Office sent auditors to review the prescription database housed by the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. Of the records reviewed, auditors found over 325,000 prescription errors, which is roughly 1.5 percent occurrence of error.
Doctors or practitioners with no valid medical licenses handed out over 135 scripts. Additionally, nearly 100,000 prescriptions were refilled over the authorized refill amounts. Some prescriptions didn’t even have valid Drug Enforcement Registration numbers. Auditors noticed that some of the medicine was filled or refilled at differing locations and that the prescribing doctor was often inconsistent.
The Bureau and Comptroller’s office said the findings are important because it narrows down the areas where medication errors are an issue and ways the prescriptions can lead to abuse.
Doctors and pharmacists all owe a duty of care to patients. Some patients treat prescriptions the way it is intended but medical professionals need to be aware of the propensity for abuse of prescription drugs. If someone is injured because a doctor failed to recognize the signs of abuse or enabled the abuse by writing additional prescriptions or refills, the doctor may be liable for damages related to the injury. Medical malpractice certainly carries over into the realm of prescribing medication and medical staff may be responsible for the prescriptions they write and dispense.

Author

Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.

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