Last Updated on Dec 2, 2021 by James W
The work of a pharmacist is to dispense medication prescribed by doctors, making them an important part of the healthcare system. You have the right to sue a pharmacy if you get medication that you were not prescribed. You can also sue a pharmacy if you have serious side effects and illnesses from taking medicine they give you if the pharmacist should have realized you were at risk.
In this article, we take a look at some of the negligent actions that might warrant suing a pharmacy.
When Pharmacies Are Liable
1. They Gave You the Wrong Medication
Specific medication is meant to treat specific illnesses, hence the need for a pharmacist to be extra careful when filling prescriptions. Although some cases have no real consequences, there are some cases that might have a negative impact on the patient’s health and sometimes lead to death. According to a study, pharmacists can confuse tablets that look alike or have similar-sounding names.
Giving patients the wrong medicine is not only caused by simple human error. There are other causes such as poor training of pharmacy personnel, understaffing that leads to high workloads, and distraction at the workplace, which are much more serious.
2. They Gave You the Wrong Drug Dosage
This happens when the pharmacy gives you a lower or higher dosage than the one prescribed by the doctor. Lower dosages mean that the patient is not getting better even though they are taking medication. Higher doses could trigger adverse reactions in the body that could be fatal for the patient.
3. They Gave You the Wrong Instructions
As most people are not medically trained, they rely on the instructions on the prescription bottle to know when and how to take the drugs. This is vital, especially if it’s a new drug that you have not used before. The instructions should be clear and easy to understand to prevent overuse and possibly overdosing on the drugs.
4. They Gave You the Someone Else’s Medication
This is a common mistake many pharmacists make, especially online pharmacies that use databases for their patients. Similar names or birthdays in the system are some of the simple explanations when you get another patient’s prescription. The dangers of taking another person’s medication cannot be overstated.
5. They Didn’t Talk to You About Your Medication
It’s the duty of all pharmacists to talk to the patients about the drugs they are going to take when they go for their prescription. They should do this even if the doctor had already gone over the drugs they have prescribed.
This brief discussion helps you learn more about the drugs, their usage, any side effects you might experience, and even storage methods. If the pharmacist skips this step and anything happens, they can be held liable for negligence.
6. They Didn’t Check Your Medical History Before Filling the Prescription
Although the doctor is the one that prescribes medicine, the pharmacy should also confirm your medical history before they give you any drugs to use. This is because you could be allergic to some of the ingredients of the drug, there can be types of drugs that shouldn’t be used together, and so on. A negligent pharmacist will fail to catch these mistakes, which could have adverse effects on the patient.
What to Do if Your Pharmacist Has Been Negligent
First and foremost, you have to go to the hospital immediately for examination and treatment to make sure everything is alright. Next, you might want to get a lawyer involved and find out if you have a case. If you have evidence to prove negligence, then you can sue the pharmacy and get compensated.