Medical Errors: When Can a Pharmacist Be Liable for Damages?

When you hear ‘medical malpractice,’ you usually think of physicians or nurses who make mistakes. But did you know that.

When you hear ‘medical malpractice,’ you usually think of physicians or nurses who make mistakes. But did you know that a pharmacist could also be held liable in a case where malpractice has played a role? Unfortunately, pharmaceutical errors are not unheard of, and this can be very dangerous when playing with medicine. Having the improper medication for a serious illness can come with consequences.

In one South Carolina case, for instance, a pharmacy was well understaffed and things were not running so smoothly. A pharmacist gave a mother a pill bottle of what was supposed to be Ritalin for her 8-year-old but instead contained a diabetes drug. Not only that, but it was at 16 times the adult dosage. When the little girl took the medicine, she sank into a coma and had lasting brain damage. The pharmacist was investigated and they found that he had a 60-hour workweek and was at the end of a 12-hour shift when the mistake occurred. Unfortunately, these long hours have been brought to attention in the state of South Carolina, where this is a regular occurrence and these mistakes are made more often than you’d like to believe. But what can you do if it happens to you?

The Duty of Your Pharmacist

medical malpractice lawyerEvery pharmacist owes their customers a duty of care. When you bring a claim of negligence against a pharmacist for acting negligently, you must show that the pharmacist owed you a duty but failed to abide by it, which caused your injuries. When a pharmacist dispenses the wrong medication or gives you an incorrect dosage, you could certainly have a medical malpractice claim against them.

Pharmacists are always supposed to be “in the know” about any interactions that could occur between certain drugs, or if the patient is suffering from any allergies and could become ill or die after taking a certain medication. With statistics showing us that as much as 10% of prescriptions contain an error, these are scary numbers and we have to constantly be on our toes about the reality of this issue.

Another question is: Was the pharmacist trained to handle the duties of the job? Pharmacists receive training on how to dispense medication. People are constantly putting their trust into pharmacists, especially when they rely on their medication to remain well and healthy. Even the biggest companies have had events concerning the wrong medications, which can very easily turn into a deadly problem.

Why You Should Have an Attorney on Your Side

It is important to have an attorney on your side to help build your case because you never know what tactics will be used against you after you have sustained injury or illness due to the wrong medication. The pharmacist may try to defend themselves, for instance, by claiming that you did not follow the instructions that they gave you when taking your medication, or that they were following doctor’s instructions and so it is not their fault. In any event, it is helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side if you are making a medical malpractice claim. We offer you many protections and a step in the right direction with your case. At the Nye Law Group, we have experience in medical malpractice cases and want to help you with your claim. Call us today at 855-636-9277.




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