Long Hours and Stressful Working Conditions Contribute to Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacists have a great deal of responsibility in that they are responsible for accurately providing patients with physician-prescribed medication, double-checking that their prescribed medication does not negatively interact with other medications, and advising patients with medication-related advice. There can be little doubt that pharmacists have their hands full. This is especially the case when pharmacies are understaffed or during unusually busy hours.

Pills in HandAccording to a recent news report, the long hours and stressful work conditions present in many pharmacies across the country result in an increased risk of potentially serious errors. The article interviews several retired pharmacists, who relay their concerns about how the industry has become more demanding on pharmacists, often requiring that they work 14-hour shifts with only a few short breaks.

With drive-thru windows becoming more common over the years and the pressure to keep the pharmacy’s bottom line in mind, pharmacists not only are working long hours but are highly stressed while on the job. By some estimates, pharmacies are filling up to 800 prescriptions per day. These factors, according to the pharmacists interviewed in the article, have contributed to an increase in errors over the past several years. However, due to a lack of regulations, pharmacies are not required to report most of these errors, resulting in a dearth of accurate official statistics.

A Pharmacist’s Duty to the Patient

Pharmacists, like other medical professionals, have a duty to provide a certain level of care to their patients. If a pharmacist breaches this duty by failing to accurately fill a patient’s prescription or by including the wrong dosing instructions, the pharmacist may be liable for any injuries that result from this error.

As the article discussed above indicated, many of the factors going into an increase in the error rates are less a function of the pharmacist’s skill than the increased workload placed on pharmacists. Thus, many pharmacy error cases may also hold the pharmacy itself or pharmacy management responsible for any injuries resulting from a pharmacist’s mistake.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that these cases can be very complex, especially when it comes to establishing the required causal link between the pharmacist’s error and the patient’s injuries. For this reason, many court require that an expert affidavit be submitted in advance of the case proceeding to trial. Anyone considering bringing a pharmacy error claim should consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney prior to filing a case.

Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you endured as a result of the error. To learn more about pharmacy error claims, and to speak with an experienced attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation to you or your family unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Pharmacy Errors Occurring After a Transition to Long-Term Care, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2017.

Adverse Reactions to Prescription Medication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2017.

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