Prescription medication is intended to help you manage or recover from a medical condition or injury. It can only do that, however, when it is the correct medication that is also dispensed correctly by the pharmacy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Pharmacy errors do occur, causing life-altering, even fatal, injuries to victims.
The Casselberry pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Warner & Warner have extensive experience fighting for the rights of victims who have suffered because of pharmacy and medical errors. We are dedicated to ensuring that the parties responsible for your pharmacy malpractice injuries are held accountable and that you are fully and fairly compensated for not just your physical injuries, but the emotional trauma you experienced as well.
Navigating the maze of state and federal laws relating to pharmacy malpractice can be extremely difficult. With an experienced Casselberry pharmacy malpractice attorney on your side, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while we take care of all the legal issues involved in getting you the financial compensation you deserve.
Pharmacy Errors Happen More Often Than You May Realize
Pharmacy errors can occur in a hospital setting or at a commercial pharmacy. Those errors impact more than seven million people and cost over $20 billion annually, according to the National Institutes of Health. Moreover, 7,000 to 9,000 people suffer fatal injuries after falling victim to a medication error in the United States, and hundreds of thousands of other patients experience non-fatal injuries.
What Is Pharmacy Malpractice?
Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals are human and do make mistakes. Not all mistakes rise to the level of malpractice; however, we do hold all medical professionals to a high standard. When they do not meet the standard accepted by reasonably prudent medical professionals in their practice area and their action or lack of action causes injury, they can be held liable for malpractice.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.” Anyone who contributed to the cause of a medication error could be liable for pharmacy malpractice and, therefore, be held legally liable for damages suffered by the victim of that error.
Common Pharmacy Errors
A pharmacy error leading to pharmacy malpractice can occur during any stage of the process from prescribing to dispensing prescription medication. Any of those errors can result in serious injury. Among the most common pharmacy errors are:
- Giving medication to the wrong patient. If a pharmacy is extremely busy or the pharmacist is distracted, a prescription can inadvertently be given to the wrong patient.
- Dispensing the wrong medication. With thousands of prescription drugs on the market, it should not be surprising that medications often have similar names, which can lead to dispensing the wrong medication to a patient. Prescriptions can also get mixed up, resulting in the wrong medication being given to a patient.
- Failing to provide correct instructions or warnings. All prescription medications come with instructions and potential warnings. If this information is not included, a patient can take the medication improperly or fail to identify serious adverse reactions in time to prevent serious harm.
- Dispensing the wrong dosage. A prescription that calls for 10 mg might be read as 100 mg by a pharmacist, potentially causing a fatal overdose in the patient.
- Failing to counsel a patient. Pharmacists are legally required to offer to counsel patients about medications they dispense. Although a patient can decline the counseling, if the pharmacist failed to offer it and the patient is injured by the medication, the failure to provide counsel can be considered malpractice.
- Failing to recognize possible drug interactions of allergies. Pharmacists are trained to recognize potential drug interactions that can be harmful, as well as allergies that might cause an otherwise safe medication to become harmful. When they fail to recognize these risks, a patient can suffer serious injury.
- Providing opiates to opiate-naïve elderly patients.In Florida, physicians routinely prescribe opiate pain medication for seniors and pharmacists routinely fill those prescriptions without considering the patient’s experience with opiates and their ability to clear those medications without significant side effects, including death or severe mental status changes necessitating the use of Narcan.
Legal Responsibility for Injuries Caused by Pharmacy Malpractice?
One of the challenges when pursuing a pharmacy malpractice claim is determining why the pharmacy error occurred and, therefore, who is responsible for the error. An experienced pharmacy malpractice attorney will ensure that all parties who share in the responsibility for a pharmacy error are held accountable, including any (or all) of the following:
- Pharmacy (such as CVS or Walgreens)
- Pharmacy technician or other staff
Compensation for Casselberry Victims of Pharmacy Malpractice
If you or a family member has been injured because of pharmacy malpractice, you may be able to take legal action against the negligent parties to hold them accountable for the damages you have suffered and to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for physical injuries, pain, suffering and related losses.
This compensation could include payment for:
- Medical bills and care expenses – existing and future expenses for hospital care, office visits, medications, diagnostic procedures, medical equipment, rehabilitation, etc.
- Decreased income and earning potential – lost wages due to time off work and diminished earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life – capacity to enjoy life and fully participate in normal daily activities
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
When to Contact a Casselberry Pharmacy Malpractice Attorney
When you need prescription medication, whether at a hospital or at home, you depend on that medication being safe. That means you are counting on those involved in dispensing the medication to have given you the correct prescription, the correct dose, and otherwise ensure that the medication will not harm you.
It is the pharmacist’s and other responsible parties’ duty to ensure that you have been given the correct dose of the correct medication that will not harm you due to drug interactions or allergies. If you are injured because a pharmacist or other responsible party did not uphold their duty and you consequently suffered injuries because of the medication, anyone who caused or contributed to your injuries should be held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to pharmacy malpractice, the experienced Casselberry pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Warner & Warner will zealously pursue justice on your behalf. We have the experience and resources to ensure that you are fully compensated for any injuries you suffered because of pharmacy malpractice and will fight aggressively for your rights under the law.
The Casselberry pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Warner & Warner have the specialized experience and knowledge required to successfully prove and litigate complex pharmacy malpractice lawsuits. Call us at 321-972-1889 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.