What is a Pharmacist’s Duty of Care?

By Greg Kohn

Pharmacists and pharmacies owe a duty of care to their customers to prevent harm just as a doctor owes a duty of care to his patients. They have a legal duty to fill lawful prescriptions without unnecessary delay. However, pharmacists and pharmacies also have a legal duty to fill prescriptions correctly and take measures to avoid errors that can cause traumatic and life-threatening injuries for customers.

When pharmacy errors cause injuries or deaths, patients and their families may have a pharmacy malpractice claim. Below, our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys discuss some of the pharmacy errors that might give rise to a malpractice claim and what you should do if you believe your pharmacy has made a mistake.

Common Pharmacy Mistakes and Errors

If a pharmacy mistake or error causes harm or injury to an individual, that individual may have a lawful claim against the pharmacist and pharmacy. Some of the common pharmacy errors and mistakes that may warrant a legal action for damages include:

  • Dispensing the incorrect dosage of medication or delivery method of medication.
  • Dispensing the wrong medication.
  • Providing incorrect dosage information.
  • Failing to provide sufficient or correct information related to the use of medication.
  • Failure to warn the patient of potential side effects or dangers of using the medication.
  • Failing to account for potential interactions with other medications or allergies based on the patient’s history.
  • Failure to warn the patient to make certain lifestyle changes to avoid potential side effects or dangers while taking the medication, such as avoiding direct sunlight or not operating motor vehicles.
  • Dispensing medication to the wrong patient.
  • Mislabeling medications.
  • Failing to ask about other medications or allergies before dispensing the medication.
  • Failure to follow-up with a physician if the prescription is difficult to read or contains incorrect information.
  • Confusing medications that have similar names.

The above list is not an exclusive list of mistakes and errors that may be considered pharmacy malpractice. Experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys can review the details of the case to determine if the facts warrant filing a legal action for pharmacy malpractice.

What Should You Do If You Believe You Are the Victim of a Pharmacy Malpractice?

Taking the wrong medication can be frightening. However, it can also lead to severe injuries and life-threatening conditions because of unnecessary side effects, complications, and reactions with other medications. When pharmacists and pharmacy employee are negligent or careless, a patient can suffer permanent impairments or death.
If you believe you have received the wrong prescription medication or the pharmacy made a mistake, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your doctor to determine what you need to do to protect your health.

Preserving Evidence and Meeting With New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys

After your health is stable, try to preserve as much evidence as possible. You should keep all the medication, prescription bottles, receipts, copies of prescriptions, and printed information from the pharmacy.
Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers today to discuss your case. You may have one or more legal options related to a pharmacy malpractice claim. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and provide legal guidance when a pharmacy error injures you or a family member.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.