While pharmacists are certainly busy medical professionals, there is no excuse to cut corners or to engage in any shortcuts that could potentially put a patient’s life at risk. However, despite the importance of a pharmacist’s role in a patient’s overall medical care, there are often lapses in care or judgment that put recovering patients at an increased risk of re-admission to the hospital. Similarly, even patients picking up routine medications are put at risk of serious complications when pharmacy errors are made.
Legally, pharmacists have a duty to ensure that they provide a certain level of acceptable care. To be sure, this does not mean that a pharmacist can be held liable for every adverse drug reaction; however, when there is evidence that a pharmacist did not provide the adequate level of care, patients who suffered as a result may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries.
Proving that a pharmacist’s actions were legally deficient is not difficult in many pharmacy error cases, especially when the case involves allegations of the pharmacist providing a patient with the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of the correct medication. However, one of the most common areas in which plaintiffs run into problems is in establishing causation. Causation is an element in almost all pharmacy error cases that requires the plaintiff to establish that the defendant’s negligent act resulted in their injuries. In pharmacy error cases, this often requires the testimony of one or more medical experts.