Laws vary from state to state regarding the authority of certain persons to dispense medication. In Maryland, physicians are permitted to dispense medication subject to certain regulations. Maryland physicians who are permitted to dispense medication must obtain a dispensing permit from the Maryland Board of Physicians. But the ability to dispense medication poses additional avenues of liability for physicians and raise concerns among some and may pose additional risks for Maryland patients, as one recent article showed.
The article raised the issue of whether physicians should be permitted to dispense medications. In an editorial in another paper, a writer had suggested that it is a good idea to have doctors dispense medications directly to patients, because it may be easier and cheaper for patients. Three doctors in Montana recently filed a lawsuit seeking to be allowed to dispense medications directly to their patients. Dispensing medication directly to patients is prohibited in that state. However, critics say that dispensing medication directly to patients raises serious medication safety concerns. In particular, there is a concern that there would not be a second review by a pharmacist of the prescription. There is also a concern about the lack of regulatory oversight, such as labeling, supervision, and storage.
Pharmacy errors can occur at different stages in the process. Having a pharmacist dispense and administer the medication means that the pharmacist can act as a check on errors that can occur when prescribing medication. Allowing a doctor to prescribe and dispense a medication means that there would likely be no second person reviewing and checking for errors before the medication reaches a patient. Prescribing errors can, of course, cause significant harm to patients.
In a Maryland pharmacy error claim, a victim generally has to establish that a medical professional was negligent during some stage of the process—for example in prescribing or in dispensing the medication—and that the medical professional’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries. The victim must establish that: 1) the defendant owed the victim a duty of care; 2) the defendant failed to meet the applicable standard of care; 3) the victim was injured as a result of the defendant’s failure to meet the standard of care; and 4) the defendant’s wrongful conduct caused the victim damages. An expert is often required to explain how the medical professional acted negligently and how the medical professional’s negligent act caused the victim harm.
Contact a Maryland Prescription Error Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured because of a Maryland prescription error made by a healthcare professional, they should discuss their claim with a personal injury attorney. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries. The Maryland prescription error attorneys Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC represent clients in pharmacy error cases and other medical malpractice cases in Maryland and the surrounding areas. Their attorneys will work hard to reduce the stress on clients as much as possible so that they can get their life back on track. To set up a free consultation, call 1-800-654-1949 or contact them online.