The lawyers at Kennedy Hodges have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who have suffered an injury after receiving the wrong prescription, wrong dosage or incorrect instructions for use. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
Officially speaking, the board of pharmacy in your state is responsible for issuing and regulating pharmacists’ licenses and pharmacies’ permits. What does this mean for you? When it comes to your health and safety, it means a lot.
The state pharmacy board acts as a filter and line of defense between pharmacists or pharmacies and consumers. Ideally, the board approves the best-qualified people and facilities to safely dispense prescription drugs to you and your family. Of course, we know better than to assume that life is idyllic, and this is when the state pharmacy board is in charge of dispensing tough punishments and even revoking licenses and permits.
Because of the extraordinary responsibility that pharmacists have to keep the public safe, they are held to very high standards in both their professional and personal lives. Professionally, pharmacists can have their licenses revoked for violations ranging from filling expired prescriptions to dispensing errors both inadvertent and intentional.
In their personal lives, pharmacists also risk losing their licenses when they face alcohol-related charges like DUIs or DWIs, substance abuse and chemical dependency, and failure to report even misdemeanor charges on license renewal forms.
Conflict of Interest? You Bet.
While the rules look great from the outside, many problems exist in their execution. State pharmacy boards are typically only able to inspect pharmacies every few years, and there are no federal regulations in place that require pharmacies to report prescription errors.
When these boards do choose to hold disciplinary hearings, there are usually many big-chain pharmacy employees present, often voting on their own punishments. This leaves even more room for error, as each protects their own.
Where pharmacy boards fail to protect the public, our law firm must step up. If you have been harmed by decisions—or lack thereof—made by your state’s pharmacy board, you deserve compensation. Click on our live chat feature to connect with us today.
More than likely your claim will be with the pharmacy and pharmacist that caused the pharmacy error and not with the state. Although every state has a State Board of Pharmacy in place to help improve consumer safety and protect customers against pharmacy errors, states often lack the staff and funding to inspect pharmacies on a regular basis.
In fact, most pharmacies aren’t inspected for years, and some pharmacies haven’t been inspected for over a decade. This is because there are really no federal rules that mandate when state inspectors have to inspect pharmacies. Also, since there are usually only a handful of inspectors and thousands of pharmacies, inspection agents aren’t able to make the necessary rounds to protect consumers.
While some states do a better job at keeping tabs on pharmacies, other states lack the oversight to protect pharmacy patients from prescription mistakes made by negligent pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Unfortunately, state boards cannot be held accountable for failing to inspect a pharmacy that caused you harm. The only way to seek justice is to file a lawsuit against the pharmacy that caused you to incur medical bills as a result of the injuries you suffered.
If you are interested in pursuing a claim to make a financial recovery and to hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries, you should learn about your rights. You can learn more about your rights to a pharmacy error lawsuit by requesting a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
A state pharmacy board is the organization in each state that is supposed to keep tabs on compounding pharmacies and retail pharmacies. They receive complaints from consumers about different pharmacies and are supposed to open up investigations. Additionally, they are supposed to inspect pharmacies from time to time. However, lack of funding across state boards makes it difficult for them to have enough staff and inspectors to properly provide the necessary oversight needed to protect the public.
Some pharmacies haven’t been inspected in years because state pharmacy boards are often spending their time focusing on pharmacists who are selling narcotics and controlled substances to people without prescriptions. While it is good that state pharmacy boards are cracking down on pharmacists who are a threat to the public’s safety and health and suspending them from practicing, it doesn’t leave pharmacy boards very much time to deal with other pharmacy issues and errors that occur such as:
- Customers getting the wrong medications.
- Patients receiving the wrong dosage of drugs.
- Pharmacists putting wrong directions on labels.
Additionally, pharmacy boards need extra inspectors to be able to monitor compounding pharmacies to make sure they are mixing and customizing drugs in a safe environment. For example, a new law was passed that will give the Massachusetts State Pharmacy Board additional members, and there will be at least one member on the board who has experience in compounding in order to properly monitor compounding pharmacies. While this is a move in the right direction, there are still not enough inspectors to effectively regulate compounding pharmacies and retail pharmacies.
Until then, the public needs to be proactive with their own healthcare. You can do this by keeping a log of your medications, having a pharmacy consultation when picking up your medication, and always asking questions if something doesn’t seem right. If you have been a victim of a pharmacy error, you should still report the incident to your state board of pharmacy, and you should learn about your rights. You can find out about your legal rights by getting a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
You probably should make a complaint to both the FDA and your state pharmacy board about your incident and illness. Generally, the FDA regulates large compounding pharmacies, and state pharmacy boards oversee smaller pharmacies. However, there are many factory-like pharmacies that have fallen through the cracks and haven’t been regulated by state or federal officials. Additionally, there are many facilities that haven’t been inspected due to the lack of investigators. What’s scary is that many of the compounding pharmacies that have been inspected have been caught making drugs in an unsanitary environment.
Determining if your state pharmacy board regulates your pharmacy depends on where your custom-made medication came from and whether it was sent to you from another state or within your state. If the drug came from a large compounding pharmacy out-of-state, then it is likely your complaint will be with the FDA. However, the laws are changing, and state pharmacy boards are asking for bigger roles in overseeing compounding pharmacies located in their states.
In addition to having a complaint with a state or federal organization, you may also have a pharmacy error claim for damages. If you suffered an illness or injury that resulted in medical bills or time off of work, you may want to pursue a lawsuit to collect the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your rights, please order a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
When something goes wrong at your local Houston pharmacy, and you want to let someone who is in a higher-up position know about it. Whether a pharmacist gave you the wrong medication, wrong dosage, or wrong instructions, you need to know how to report your concerns to the appropriate party. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy is the body that governs licensed pharmacists in our state, and you need to write to them with your complaint.
Any pharmacy complaint you make must be in writing to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Unfortunately, you cannot speak with someone on the phone to lodge your complaint. However, there is a phone number you can call to get a complaint form mailed to you, which is 800-821-3205 (option 5) or in Austin 305-8080 (recorded information only). You can also download a complaint form online by going to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy website.
Your complaint must describe the incident regarding the pharmacy or pharmacist licensed by the state. You will need to provide to the Board with your name and contact information as well as the name of the pharmacist or people involved. Your complaint should list the date of the incident and details. For example, if a pharmacist filled the wrong prescription, you need to provide the name the pharmacist, state the date and approximate time the incident occurred, list the name of the prescription or the information off of the prescription label, and any other details and facts surrounding your incident.
For other helpful information about filing a complaint with the State Board of Pharmacy, please browse through our blogs and articles, or follow us on Twitter.
The short answer is: It depends on the state. Although the standards for state pharmacy boards are slightly different from state to state, they are each made up of a mix of active pharmacists and consumers.
The Oregon State Board of Pharmacy consists of seven members. Within this state, the Governor appoints each member to the board for a four-year term, so long as he is approved by the state senate. The board is made up of five licensed pharmacists and two members of the public.
The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy consists of eight members, also appointed by the governor. This board is made up of seven licensed practicing pharmacists and one consumer.
In Texas, the board consists of nine members who are also appointed by the governor and approved by the senate, but their terms are for six years. Six of the members have to be registered pharmacists in Texas, with three members representing the public.
There are 13 members on the California State Board of Pharmacy, with seven registered pharmacists and four members of the public who are all appointed to four-year terms by the governor. Additionally, the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly also appoint one public member.
Although there are different numbers of board members from state to state, they all are charged with regulating the practice of pharmacy in their states and investigating complaints. Some boards meet quarterly and others meet once a month to discuss and review complaints and determine if disciplinary actions should be taken.
If you are a victim of a pharmacy error, you should report the incident to your state pharmacy board, and you should contact Kennedy Hodges to speak with a knowledgeable pharmacy error attorney today at 888-526-7616.
Each State Board of Pharmacy can investigate complaints it receives from the public regarding the practices of a pharmacy or pharmacist. Most complaints that the state board receives are from dissatisfied consumers or disgruntled co-workers concerning specific pharmacists. If the pharmacist in question is thought to have violated pharmacy or drug laws, that pharmacist will be subject to disciplinary proceedings, which could include an informal settlement conference or a trial at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
The pharmacist will get to present his or her side and respond to the allegations. During the investigation, the board may decide to dismiss the claim; however, based on the evidence, it may choose to reprimand or fine the pharmacist. Additionally, the pharmacist could have his or her license revoked, restricted, retired or suspended based on the findings. Recently, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy suspended some pharmacy and pharmacist licenses. If a pharmacist gets his or her license temporarily suspended or restricted, he or she is entitled to a full trial within 90 days, or otherwise the suspension will be lifted.
These investigations and hearings can take several months before the board reaches a final decision. If a pharmacy has its license suspended, it will lose its DEA and DPS registrations and may risk being put out of business. However, each complaint will have different findings, and the disciplinary action will vary depending on the severity of the allegations.
If you have a potential case against a pharmacist for a pharmacy error, call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation to discuss your rights.
As consumers, we are led to believe that we can trust the Food and Drug Administration to protect us from perscription contamination. The FDA cannot keep up with proper inspection rates for pharmacies, much less the overseas plants that frequently produce medications for the U.S.
This means that consumers are constantly at risk when taking prescription medications. If you have been harmed by contaminated prescriptions or by a pharmacy error your best option is to exercise your rights and contact an experienced pharmacy error attorney immediately. It is important to have someone on your side from the very beginning if you or a loved one is harmed by prescription errors.
Free resources to learn your rights.
You can order our free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights if you are harmed by a pharmacy error. Our pharmacy error lawyers can review your case for free.Call our office at 888-526-7616 to start your free case review today.
Pharmacy Error Blog: Lax FDA plant inspections reveal risks of prescription contamination.
Yes. The more people speak out about these issues and complain in the appropriate places the more likely conditions are going to eventually change for the better so that medication errors will occur less often. Be warned, however, that your best bet is to file a claim against pharmacies if you are injured. Retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have their own pharmacists on the Boards of Pharmacy in every state, and complaints fall on deaf ears.
- Although they are supposed to protect consumers, a lack of proper funding and staff shortage make State Pharmacy Boards inadequate organizations to properly keep tabs on the pharmacies that fill our prescriptions.
State pharmacy boards cannot be relied on to inspect our pharmacies and a lack of federal regulation means consumers have to protect themselves against pharmacy mistakes. The only way to make the pharmacies listen is to file a prescription error lawsuit.