Each state has a State Board of Pharmacy that regulates the pharmacy practices within that state, including the practice of pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacies that manufacturer drugs and medical devices. The purpose of these boards is to make sure consumers are kept safe.
Unfortunately, states cannot protect every consumer from pharmacy mistakes that occur. Sadly, there is simply not enough funding, staff, or members who care to adopt new laws to protect consumers in every state. However, some states seem more concerned about the public and look to establish new laws to govern pharmacy inspections in an effort to limit pharmacy errors.
New Pharmacy Laws
In the 2013 legislative session, many states had pharmacy bills up for review but not very many states approved and passed such bills. However, Missouri was one state that did pass a new bill. Senate Bill 306 was signed into law recently by Governor Jay Nixon, which will allow the Missouri Board of Pharmacy to test pharmaceutical products and conduct lab tests on the drugs pharmacies sell. It passed by a 154-1 vote in the House of Representatives and a 34-0 vote in the Senate.
Under the last law, the State Board of Pharmacy could inspect a pharmacy but wasn’t been able to inspect the drugs that are sold—until now. While most pharmacists are honest people who fill the correct medications, there are some pharmacists who have practiced pharmaceutical fraud. For example, a Kansas City pharmacist was convicted to 30 years in federal prison for diluting cancer drugs. The decade-long charade was an attempt to stretch his pharmacy’s profits, and ultimately affected the health of an estimated 4,000 cancer patients.
Under this new law, pharmacists who are purposely committing fraud would most likely be caught — helping to protect consumers. Of course there are always the infrequent incidences of pharmacy error when medications get mixed up, the wrong dosage gets filled, or the wrong instructions get handed out to a patient. Unfortunately, this law or any State Board of Pharmacy will not be able to prevent all pharmacy errors from occurring.
If you have been a victim of a pharmacy mistake, you should report it to your State Board of Pharmacy. You may also want to contact an experienced pharmacy malpractice attorney at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. by calling 888-526-7616. We offer a free consultation to discuss your pharmacy lawsuit, and you can receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.