Pharmacists are much like doctors in the way that they also have a duty of care to provide to their patients. However, they are not supposed to follow doctors’ orders blindly, as they are not meant to be robots that simply fill prescriptions and hand pill bottles to customers. Instead, they are professionals who have a duty to ensure that the medication that is prescribed and the medication they dispense are the appropriate medications their customers need.
Pharmacists used to be able to simply fill prescriptions and hand out the appropriate drugs and directions to customers; however, their role has changed over time. Pharmacists have to review the medication prescribed against other medications the customer is already taking. When pharmacists don’t do this or they don’t review the potential side effects with their customers, they can open themselves up to be sued for malpractice. Even when a pharmacist fills the correct prescription from the doctor, a pharmacist can be sued for pharmacy malpractice because he or she did not ensure that the drug was the correct medication the patient needed.
Unfortunately, physicians do make mistakes when prescribing a patient’s medication. Because society realizes that doctors might order the wrong medication or a drug that interacts with another medication the patient is already taking, they look to pharmacists to double-check the medications prescribed. Because of this, pharmacists have a real responsibility to patients’ safety.
In fact, recent pharmacy malpractice cases nationwide reveal that the public recognizes that pharmacists have responsibilities and obligations to patients—a responsibility to monitor and evaluate prescribed medications and drug therapy for the good of their customers. Because of this, the law also recognizes that pharmacists have an independent commitment to patient safety by creating a positive outcome with drug treatment.
Unfortunately, pharmacists do make medication mistakes that affect patients’ health and safety that include:
- Not checking the patient’s records for drug interactions
- Failing to warn patients of potentially harmful interactions
- Filling the wrong medication
- Dispensing the wrong dosage of drugs
- Pushing themselves to fill more prescriptions to increase profits
- Not providing patient counseling or spending too little time counseling customers
When a pharmacist makes a mistake with a patient’s medication in any of the aforementioned ways and the patient suffers harm, the pharmacist can be liable for pharmacy malpractice. If you suffered injuries, or your family member died, as a result of pharmacist malpractice, please call a Texas pharmacy malpractice attorney at Kennedy Hodges 888-526-7616 for a free consultation today. Also, request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.