The level of trust we place in pharmacies and pharmacists tend to be around the same level of trust we have in doctors and other medical professionals.
While pharmacists have to possess various credentials and are held to high (and strict) ethical standards, however, they can – and sometimes do – make mistakes that can result in serious harm to unsuspecting patients.
Pharmacy Malpractice at a Glance
Case Study: Does Your Pharmacist Have Your Best Interests in Mind?
Mistakes, oversights and negligence at pharmacies can arise in various forms. When pharmacist malpractice happens, it tends to arise in the form of:
- Providing the wrong type(s) of medication(s) to patients
- Issuing the wrong dosages of medicine to patients
- Failing to provide patients with the proper instructions regarding how or when to take or use medications (This can include failing to tell patients what substances or actions they should avoid when using certain drugs.)
- Failing to detect when patients are taking medications that are contraindicated (i.e., when two or more medications should not be taken together).
A Glaring Example of Pharmacy Negligence: CVS in the Hot Seat
One noteworthy example of pharmacy negligence that has made national news in recent years involved a CVS pharmacy in Santa Barbara, California. Here’s an overview what happened in this case:
- In 2009, a man brought the CVS pharmacy his prescription for Lomotil, an anti-diarrheal drug, to CVS to fill.
- The pharmacist accidentally filled this prescription with Warfarin Sodium, a blood thinning drug.
- The man, who was already taking blood thinners, ended up suffering from massive hemorrhaging. He reportedly had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment as a result of this medication error.
- The following year, the man filed a lawsuit against CVS alleging negligence and pharmacy malpractice.
- The man reportedly still has lingering health issues resulting from being overdosed with blood thinners.
Protecting Yourself from Pharmacy Malpractice: The Bottom Line
When it comes to pharmacy negligence and pharmacist malpractice, the bottom line is that it is best to:
- Not blindly trust your pharmacist (even if you personally know him or her).
- Double check the labels on your prescription drug(s) to be sure you’ve been given the right type and dose of medication from the pharmacy.
- Ask questions (and take notes, if necessary) about how to use a medication and what to avoid when on that drug if you are uncertain or if you are just staring a course of new medication.
- Carefully monitor changes in your health, and seek immediate medical attention if you start developing health complications after taking prescription drugs.
Although pharmacist negligence may not always be a factor when drugs cause adverse side effects, it’s one possibility – and knowing when this type of negligence has occurred can be the key to protecting yourself and recovering.
If you or someone you love been harmed by any type of medication error or medical malpractice, you can turn to Kingston Personal Injury Lawyer Charles N. Rock to find out more about your rights and possibly recovery options.
Contact Attorney Charles N. Rock today by calling (845) 383–1170 or by emailing our firm using the contact form on this page. Attorney Charles N. Rock can meet you at your home or a hospital when needed to ensure that you have the legal support you need ASAP.