Understand Pharmacy Malpractice Cases
Less than thirty years ago you might have walked into the pharmacy in your town or neighborhood, and the pharmacist would have been someone who knew you by name, knew your family, and who would answer any questions you had about medication with authority and knowledge. Fast forward to the current era and we usually go to a pharmacy that is part of a “big box” chain, where few of the staff would know our names or have time to discuss specifics of our conditions. This can leave the door open to a lot of potential problems, even some that would qualify as medical malpractice cases.
Why Pharmacy Malpractice Cases Occur
Millions upon millions of prescriptions are filled each day of the year, and that means that even with technology and advanced science, mistakes happen. When it falls under the pharmacy malpractice heading, it is when, “A pharmacist or other trained pharmacy worker breaches the standard of care.”
Now, that is not the clearest definition in the world, so let’s take a moment to understand what it means. After all, if you are like millions of others in the modern world you might find yourself with a prescription in your hand and the need to put your trust in the pharmacy staff. What should you expect from them? How would you know if they breached the standard of care expected?
Firstly, all pharmacies are required to make sure you are the patient, or they should verify just who the patient is. They must then be sure that the prescription contains the proper dosage of the medication. Why is this required? In essence, pharmacy malpractice cases tend to begin when the wrong dosage or drug is given to the patient.
A pharmacy malpractice case can also develop out of negligence on the part of the pharmacist. For instance, they might fill a prescription that is incorrect although the physician prescribed it. This is not as tricky as it seems because the pharmacist is not expected to know the medical history of the patient, but if they see that there is a risk for drug interactions to occur because that patient is using another medication that may react badly with the new prescription – they must take action.
Warning patients of potential drug reactions is part of the job, and if they do not warn patients of dangers when mixing any two prescription medications, it is a clear-cut case of pharmacy malpractice. It cannot simply be an error on the part of a physician when a qualified pharmacist also has the information right in front of their eyes as well. Drug counseling is, therefore, becoming a state law in many places. This requires the pharmacist to give the patient information about side effects, reactions, and so on. Failing to do so open up the pharmacist and the pharmacy to a malpractice liability.
What to Do If You Feel You Are the Victim of Pharmacy Malpractice
Whether you or a loved one appears to be the victim of a pharmacy malpractice case, you have to know one major issue: It is up to you to prove that some sort of negligence and malpractice occurred. This means that an experienced malpractice lawyer is really the smartest first step.
Rather than struggle alone against a large company with a host of lawyers prepared to argue against your claims, it is wisest and most effective to work with a pharmacy malpractice lawyer right from the start. They can help you to prove that negligence did occur and that you have a rightful claim to damages because of the malpractice.