CVS Pharmacy Medication Errors and Prescription Overdose Injury Claims

CVS Pharmacy - Photo by Ildar SagdejevCVS fills roughly 30% of all prescriptions in the United States.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, over 1 million people suffer physical harm every year because of preventable prescription medication errors. Many of these mistakes occur at CVS pharmacies given the staggering number of prescriptions (over 1.2 billion) the pharmacy fills across the nation every year.

CVS is the largest pharmacy chain in the United States.  They compete with Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite Aid pharmacies who also take a large share of the prescription drug sales market. CVS was founded in Lowell, Massachusetts and is currently headquartered in Rhode Island.

CVS has over 7,500 CVS stores across the United States. Many cities and towns in Massachusetts have multiple CVS pharmacies. Over 4 billion prescriptions are filled in the United States every year, and CVS fills roughly 30% of all prescriptions in the United States, which comes to about 1.2 billion prescriptions filled at CVS pharmacies annually.

It is important to hold pharmacies responsible when they violate customers’ trust and cause injuries by negligently filling prescription medications. Our attorneys work on the behalf of clients that are injured in medical malpractice claims involving prescription errors and various forms of pharmacy negligence.

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CVS Has a Duty to its Customers

CVS customers put a tremendous amount of faith in CVS to provide them with the correct medications because even minor prescriptions errors resulting in dispensing the incorrect dosages or wrong drugs can result in catastrophic injuries. CVS has a duty to hire enough qualified pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at each store to ensure prescriptions are filled with the correct drugs and dosages, and dispensed to the correct person.

Common CVS Prescription Errors

Prescription errors can occur for a variety of reasons but oftentimes involve the following:

Wrong Medication

One of the most common pharmacy prescription mistakes involves dispensing the incorrect drug. These mistakes occur from a variety of different reasons. Many medications are spelled and sound similar. Often times pharmacists and pharmacy technicians mistakenly dispense one drug for another due to confusion over drugs that are spelled similarly and sound alike. One example of this name confusion problem involves the drugs hydralazine and hydroxyzine. Poor penmanship resulting in a doctor writing an illegible prescription is another cause.

Wrong Dosage

One the other most common pharmacy prescription error involves dispensing the correct drug but wrong dosage. These are preventable mistakes that occur when a 0 or decimal point is misplaced resulting in 100 milligrams instead of 10 milligrams being prescribed or 5 milliliters instead of 0.5 milliliters.

Labeling Error

Another example of pharmacy negligence involves mislabeling the prescription bottle with the wrong instructions which leads to overdosing or underdosing. An example of this involves a prescription label that instructs the patient to take 3 tablets 3 times a day instead of 1 tablet 3 times a day.

Prescription Overdose

Prescription overdoses usually result from dosage errors or labeling errors. Children and elderly patient’s over the age of 60 are the most vulnerable to overdosing injuries and death.

Prescription Underdose

Prescription underdoses usually result from dosage errors or labeling errors. This occurs when the patient receives less of the drug than what is prescribed which deprives the patient of the therapeutic benefit of the medication.

Prescription Drugs for PainCommon Causes of CVS Prescription Errors

Prescription errors result for a variety of reasons and most involve the following preventable situations.

Understaffed and Short-Staffed Pharmacy

Understaffed pharmacies that overwork their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is a major problem contributing to prescription medication errors. Pharmacies like CVS are companies that are publicly traded on the stock market. There is constant pressure on management to increase profits and this bottom-dollar thinking oftentimes leads to cost cutting measures that can jeopardize patient health and well-being.  Staffing is one of a company’s biggest expenses. One way to reduce expenses is to reduce staff.

Under-staffing and short-staffed pharmacies oftentimes overwork their employees in order to meet customer demand. Overworked pharmacists are usually overtired. Mistakes occur when we are overtired. Most pharmacists usually have lines full of client’s that are clamoring to have their prescriptions filled as soon as possible. High demand pharmacies with overworked and overtired pharmacists are a recipe for disaster.

Failure to Communicate with a Doctor

Breakdowns in communication between pharmacies and your doctor’s office. Pharmacists should always contact your doctor if they ever have any questions about the proper dosage or if they have concerns that a prescription might adversely interact with another prescription a customer is already taking. Pharmacies must keep and update their customer database which are maintained to track clients’ prescription and dosage histories. These databases allow pharmacies to flag adverse drug interactions that may result when combining medications.

Inadequate Safety and Quality Control Measures

Failing to devise and implement appropriate quality control measures. Pharmacies need to have policies and procedures in place that seek to limit medication errors by putting a series of checks in place. These policies must be followed, reviewed and updated.

Inadequate Training, Lack of Qualifications

Failing to properly train pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.  CVS customers put a tremendous amount of faith in CVS to provide them with the correct medications because even minor prescriptions errors resulting in dispensing the incorrect dosages or wrong drugs can result in catastrophic injuries. CVS has a duty to hire enough qualified pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at each store to ensure prescriptions are filled with the correct drugs and dosages, and dispensed to the correct person.

CVS Prescription Medication Error Personal Injury Attorneys

Initial Consultations Are Always Free – No Fee Unless We Recover For You

If you or a loved one experienced a medication injury or prescription overdose injury due to pharmacy negligence call our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Our personal injury accident lawyers have years of experience bringing medical malpractice claims on behalf of clients that were injured due to no fault of their own. It is important to keep all prescription bottles, pills, store receipts, and pharmacy paperwork following a medication injury. We will need this information to build a case against the pharmacy and get you fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 or click the link below to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.

Medication Errors Personal Injury Attorneys

We offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to help you understand your rights and the value of your case.

CVS Prescription Medication Error Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorneys


Our knowledgeable and experienced Greater Boston accident claims and personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are available to assist clients throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts, including but not limited to Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Westport, Dartmouth, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable, Springfield, Worcester, Framingham, Haverhill, Salem, Methuen, Leominster and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.


Photo Source: Ildar Sagdejev, CVS Pharmacy, in Durham, North Carolina.

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