A pharmacist’s mistake in providing the wrong medication to a patient is always a serious concern, but never is it more serious than when the patient is a child. Children are much more susceptible to suffering serious or fatal side effects when given medication that was not prescribed to them. In fact, the manufacturers of many medications specifically state that the drug is not intended for the use of minors. It is therefore extremely important that pharmacists and parents do everything they can to ensure that a child is not given the wrong medication.
However, pharmacists are human, and busy ones at that. They often fill hundreds, if not thousands, of prescriptions each day. This constant flow of work can create an increased chance that something will break down in the system, and a child will be provided the wrong medication. However, the concern is not only that a child will be given the wrong medication altogether. Children are also at risk for serious injury or death if the dose they are provided is not correct.
When a pharmacist does make a mistake, and a child is harmed as a result, that pharmacist and the pharmacy employing him may be held financially liable in a negligence lawsuit. Despite what the media and the pharmacy industry may say, the ultimate burden is not on the parents or those who administer the medication to the child. The burden remains on the pharmacist.