Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals, much like doctors or nurses. And under the United States’ medical system, pharmacists have a very important role to play in providing medical care to patients. Indeed, patients not only rely on pharmacists to be accurate, but also to be diligent in looking out for potential adverse drug interactions that a physician may have missed.
Like other medical professionals, pharmacists have a duty to those whom they serve. While the nuances of a pharmacist’s duty to her patients is exceedingly complex; at its most basic level it requires pharmacists to accurately fill all patient prescriptions and provide meaningful medication consultations when requested or required. However, each year there are thousands of medication errors, many of which result in serious harm to the patient.
The duty pharmacists owe to their patients evolves over time as scientific research uncovers new best practices and technology developments allow for more accurate record-keeping and prescription dispensing. According to a recent industry news source, all pharmacists should be taking the following steps to avoid making preventable errors:
- Commit to following step-by-step directions when it comes to filling prescriptions;
- Require all pharmacists to follow the same set of guidelines;
- Regularly evaluate all pharmacy protocol to ensure that they are in line with current best practices;
- Use visual reminders, such as posters, to promote compliance among pharmacists;
- Work with pharmacy staff to promote a distraction-free working environment;
- Use computer-generated safety features;
- Develop a reliable and accurate inventory method; and
- Discuss all drug warnings, including potential adverse interactions, with patients as they are provided their medication.
Liability in Pharmacy Error Cases
Despite the best of intentions, retail pharmacies are busy places, and it is inevitable that pharmacists will make mistakes. Pharmacy errors can occur for a number of reasons, but most often they are caused by a pharmacist acting hastily in the face of what seems like a never-ending workload. However, this burdensome environment does not excuse a pharmacist’s negligence.
When a pharmacist commits and error, an injured patient may be able to recover compensation for their injuries through a pharmacy error lawsuit. In order to succeed, a plaintiff must establish not only that the pharmacist made an error, but also that the pharmacist’s error was what caused their injuries. While this seems straightforward in concept, in practice, proving causation often is a labor-intensive process and nearly always requires the assistance of a medical expert. Anyone who has been harmed by a prescription error should consult with a dedicated Maryland personal injury law firm to discuss their case and how to proceed.
Are You in Need of an Attorney?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you should contact the dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent injury victims and their families in a wide range of Maryland personal injury and medical malpractice cases, including pharmacy error cases. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Children Are Especially at Risk of Serious Injury or Death Following a Maryland Pharmacy Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 15, 2018.
Study Notes an Increase in Accidental Overdoses from Cancer Drug, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 2, 2018.