In California, as within most states, a claim for negligence against a pharmacist may occur when a pharmacy error takes place. The reason this is acceptable is because pharmacists—just like other health care providers—have a duty of care to provide to their patients. When they fail to do so and a patient suffers harm from receiving the wrong medication or incorrect dosage of drugs, pharmacists and pharmacies can be sued for negligence.
To reduce medication errors and lawsuits, the California Legislature has passed several new laws, adding more responsibilities onto pharmacists including:
- Senate Bill 493 recently passed that allows pharmacists to provide medication consultations and bill for them. Pharmacists in California can now dispense, adjust, or discontinue a patient’s medications, provide a patient with vaccine shots, and even interpret lab tests.
- Statute § 4076 states that pharmacists have a duty to dispense drugs to patients in the right prescription container with correct labels. The statute mandates that the prescription label must include the patient’s name, date of issue, strength, quantity, expiration date, prescriber’s name, and pharmacy location.
- California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Article 2 requires pharmacists to maintain medical profiles on each customer who gets their prescriptions filled at the pharmacy. This code also requires pharmacists to look over all customers’ drug therapy and provide oral consultation when the pharmacist deems it necessary or when patients request a consultation.
Because dispensing medication is serious business, pharmacists have to follow the laws and comply with the rules and regulations put in place. Additionally, pharmacists are held to a high level of professional standard of care in order to make sure they do not put the store’s profits ahead of patient safety. When pharmacists fail to follow the requirements outlined by state laws, a breach of statutory duty can be proven and they can be liable for pharmacy error.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
If you have a case involving pharmacy malpractice, you should speak with an attorney to discuss your potential claim. It is important that you contact a lawyer immediately to make sure your rights are protected because the statute of limitations may only be one year. This means that you have one year to bring a lawsuit against a pharmacist for his or her negligence in California. When minors under the age of six are involved, you may have three years to bring a claim; however, it is critical you check with an attorney before letting too much time pass because the laws are complex.
Pharmacies and negligent pharmacy staff workers nationwide need to be held accountable for their actions. This is why it is important that you hire an attorney who will zealously pursue your case to the fullest. Contact the pharmacy error attorneys at Kennedy Hodges for a free consultation at 888-526-7616. You can also get some of your questions answered and learn more about your rights by requesting a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.