Earlier this month in Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, students and professors put on a mock trial, mimicking a real criminal law trial that alleged criminal negligence on the part of a pharmacist who signed off on an improperly diluted medication that was given to a young child. According to an article by Pharmacy Times, the mock trial is used by administrators to impart the real-world consequences that can result from a pharmacist’s mistake.
The original case arose back in 2006, when a two-year-old girl died as a result of being provided her final chemotherapy session that was improperly diluted. Apparently, rather than having less than 1% salt, the solution contained 23% salt, which ended up being a toxic dose for the two-year-old child. While it was not a pharmacist who prepared the solution, the pharmacist on duty did check the work of the technician who did prepare the solution.
After the error, the girl’s father learned that there were several other problems that contributed to the fatal pharmacy error, including the fact that the pharmacy’s computers were down that day, the pharmacy was understaffed, and there was a backlog of physician orders waiting to be filled. In the real case, the pharmacist was found to be criminally negligent because she inspected and checked off on the work of the technician. She lost her license to practice as a result. The students at the Harrison School of Pharmacy came to the same conclusion, finding that under the facts provided, the pharmacist was acting negligently on the day in question.
Educating Young Pharmacists May Be Key to Reducing Future Errors
It is clear that pharmacy errors are a serious problem across the United States, with hundreds of deaths caused each year by negligent or reckless pharmacists. While litigation against negligent pharmacists is one way to ensure that pharmacists take their job seriously, training the new crop of pharmacists to be diligent and ethical is equally important. The fact that the school mentioned above determined that the issue was important enough to conduct a whole mock trial shows how serious the issue really is.
Proving Cases Against Negligent Pharmacists
In order for a plaintiff to be successful in a case against a pharmacy or pharmacist, it must be established that the pharmacist (or pharmacy) was somehow negligent in the performance of his or her duties. Some of the facts that may go to whether negligence was involved are:
- Whether the pharmacy was understaffed at the time of the incident;
- The training policies of the pharmacy;
- The type of error and how it was committed;
- Whether a licensed pharmacist filled or checked off the order prior to pick-up; and
- Whether the pharmacy had a near-miss reporting and tracking system.
Have You Been Injured Due to a Pharmacist’s Mistake?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured due to the mistake of a local pharmacy or pharmacist, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover the costs associated with the incident. Of course, pharmacies will rarely admit liability without a strong case of negligence being prepared and put before them. Therefore, the assistance of a dedicated pharmacy error attorney is extremely useful in the early stages of the process in developing the case. To learn more about pharmacy error cases, and to speak with an attorney about your situation, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Mother Catches Pharmacy Error Before Providing Medication to Her Five-Month-Old Son, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 29, 2015.
Causes and Effects of Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog,August 14, 2015.