Pressure on Maryland Pharmacists Putting Patients at Risk, Pharmacists Say

Pharmacists at the country’s biggest retail chains have written letters to state regulatory boards in recent months alerting them to what they claim are chaotic workplaces that put patients at risk, according to a recent article. The pharmacists say that the pressures put on them require that they give shots, answer phones, mange drive-throughs, take payments, and make calls in addition to filling prescriptions and counseling patients. They say that these demands in addition to meeting corporate metrics are making their jobs unsafe for patients. According to the article, surveys of pharmacists in Maryland and other states reveal that they “feel pressured or intimidated to meet standards or metrics that may interfere with safe patient care.”

For example, internal documents from CVS showed that staff members were supposed to persuade 65 percent of patients that were picking up prescriptions to sign up for automatic refills, 75 percent to have their doctor contacted for a proactive refill request, and 55 percent to switch from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply.

One pharmacist wrote that they were  a “danger to the public” in a letter to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Another said the situation is “absolutely dangerous” to patients. Such pressures have led to mistakes they say, including misfills. Some mistakes have led to devastating results, including dispensing a cancer drug instead of an antidepressant, leading to the woman’s death after six days of taking the medication, which allegedly led to organ failure. The family was offered a settlement in that case.

Victims May Be Able to Recover Compensation

Victims of pharmacy errors may be able to recover financial compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. In a negligence claim in a prescription error case, a patient would have to show that the pharmacist or other healthcare professional failed to meet the relevant standard of care by providing the patient with the wrong drug or dosage. A victim would have to prove that it was more probable than not that the injury suffered as a result was caused by the pharmacist’s negligent act.

Maryland victims of pharmacy errors may be able to recover damages, including compensation for their medical bills, physical therapy, loss of wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. The goal is to compensate the victim in order to make the victim “whole.” In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.

Have You Been the Victim of a Prescription Error?

If you have been the victim of a Maryland prescription error, contact the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers. We represent victims of prescription errors and other types of medical malpractice throughout the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. areas. Our attorneys work closely with medical experts to evaluate your claim and to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We have over twenty years of experience litigating claims related to medication errors and understand what it takes to build a successful case. Call 1-800-654-1949 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.

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