Yes, you can sue a pharmacy for negligence. That is because pharmacists have a duty of care to the people who ask them to fill a prescription. If a pharmacist’s error caused you injury, then you may have a valid malpractice claim.
How can I begin the process?
Successful malpractice claims require four things: a duty of care, breach, causation, and damages.
You already know that pharmacists owe their patients a duty of care. Under this duty, pharmacists must follow certain safety guidelines when filling prescriptions. Whether your pharmacist works for a hospital, a clinic, or a stand-alone pharmacy inside of a drug store, s/he must have the proper skills and training necessary to properly and safely fill prescriptions with accuracy.
If your pharmacist fails to abide by recognized safety protocols, this is a breach of his/her duty. And if the pharmacist’s breach causes you injury, then you have a claim for negligence.
Here are some of the most common examples of pharmacy negligence that could warrant a malpractice claim:
Wrong Medication: This happens far too often. And while it does not always end badly, if you suffer injury because your pharmacist gave you the wrong medication, you have a valid malpractice claim.
Incorrect Dosage: Prescribing the incorrect dosage can be deadly. For example, a pharmacist could mistakenly provide an infant patient with an adult-strength dosage or prescribe less medication than a patient needs to prevent a stroke.
Wrong Directions: The pharmacist is responsible for explaining how to take your medication. If your pharmacist accidentally tells you to take one pill every four hours, but you actually needed to take one pill every day, that is a breach and could serve as the basis for a negligence claim.
Drug Interactions: One of the most important things your pharmacist needs to do before giving you your prescription is check the drug interactions of multiple prescriptions. For example, if one doctor prescribed you a certain drug and another doctor prescribed you a different drug, it is up to the pharmacist to make sure you can take both of these drugs at the same time. If your pharmacist overlooks dangerous mixing effects, you could have a claim for negligence.
Your pharmacist must also look out for food interactions. For example, grapefruit juice interacts with many different types of medications. If your pharmacist does not warn you about drinking grapefruit juice while taking your medication, s/he may be liable for any injuries you sustain.
Patient’s Medical History: Another important job of any pharmacist is checking their patient’s medical history. Pharmacists must check patients’ medical histories for complications such as drug allergies. Failing to check a patient’s medical history before filling a prescription could lead to a deadly allergic reaction.
Where can I get help with my pharmacy malpractice claim?
If you or a loved one suffered an injury at the hands of a pharmacist, contact Coffey Trial Law. Our pharmacy malpractice attorneys can help you recover the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Damages for medical malpractice claims based on negligence can include medical expenses, lost wages, disability expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in cases of extreme negligence, even punitive damages.
Call Coffey Trial Law today at 954-541-3194 to set up your free initial consultation.