How a Physician May Be Responsible for a Maryland Pharmacy Error

Most Maryland pharmacy errors occur when an overworked pharmacist receives a correct prescription from a physician and makes an error in filling the prescription. Commonly, these errors include filling the wrong dose of the correct medication, providing the patient with the wrong administration instructions, or filling the prescription with the wrong drug. However, some prescription errors result from a negligent or reckless physician.

Both doctors and pharmacists owe a duty of care to their patients when it comes to prescription medication. However, these duties differ slightly, and for good reason. A pharmacist has no control over the medication a doctor prescribes to his patient, and a doctor has no control over the accuracy of the pharmacist. However, in some cases, these duties overlap.

In a recent article, one pharmacist recounts an error that was made just a few years after he had graduated from pharmacy school. The pharmacist, relatively new at the time, was asked by a physician to prescribe an adult dose of medication to a child. When the pharmacist questioned what he believed to be too high a dose for a child, the doctor assured the pharmacist that it was appropriate because the child was “adult-sized.”

The pharmacist filled the prescription as the physician requested and cautioned the parent not to exceed the dose. The pharmacist even suggested that the parent try administering a half-dose initially. However, when the parent got home, she consulted with the doctor, who verbally instructed the parent to administer an excessive dose of the medication.

The parent ran out of medication on the following day and returned to the pharmacist for a refill. The pharmacist reached out to the doctor, again expressing concern, but was told to fill the prescription despite his fears. The parent again administered an excessive dose to the child, and the child suffered a seizure as a result, which was a common characteristic of an adverse medication reaction to that specific drug.

The child was admitted to the hospital and fully recovered. However, the child’s family filed a lawsuit against both the pharmacist as well as the prescribing physician. After trial, the physician was found liable for the error, but the pharmacist was found to have not been at fault. In a candid interview, the pharmacist told reporters that he believed he should have been found liable because he failed to exercise his professional judgment rather than defer to the physician.

Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the error, there may be more than one responsible party. The dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling pharmacy error cases, and they know where to look for liability. We have represented thousands of Maryland victims over our decades of practice, and we know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Woman Given Ten Times the Prescribed Dose of Epilepsy Medication Suffers Permanent Symptoms, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 21, 2018.

A Look at Hospital Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 2, 2018.

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