Ways Pharmacists Commit Medical Malpractice

When you head to your local pharmacy to pick up a prescription, you expect to receive the right medication in the right dosage as directed by your doctor. Unfortunately, it's possible that pharmacists can incorrectly dispense medication. If you suffer harm due to receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage directions from your pharmacist, you might have grounds to sue them for medical malpractice.

Dispensing the Wrong Medication

There are multiple ways for a pharmacist to commit an error when dispensing medication. They might misread the prescription from the doctor, or they might simply reach for the wrong bottle on the shelf. Pharmacists tend to work with many patients per hour and work quickly to fulfill prescriptions as soon as possible. This creates an environment where speed is prioritized over double-checking for accuracy. If a patient doesn't realize that they've received the wrong medication, they could have serious adverse effects.

If this has happened to you, be sure to keep careful records of the medication you were supposed to receive, the one you actually received, and the harm you suffered by taking the wrong medication as directed. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you collect medical bills and other evidence to show the extent of the harm you suffered.

Dispensing Incorrect Dosages

Even if a pharmacist gives a patient the right medication, it's possible to commit an error in dosage. For example, if a prescription says for a patient to take two pills twice per day, the pharmacist may accidentally misinterpret these instructions by doubling the size of the pills, which might quadruple the intended dose. Pharmacists should communicate clearly with patients to ensure that they take what their doctor recommended. Giving the wrong strength of medication could also cause severe harm to a patient who is trying to manage their medical condition.

Failing to Screen Patients

Pharmacists should ensure that their patients are not taking multiple medications that would interact harmfully or cause adverse effects given a patient's medical history. If a pharmacist notices such a discrepancy, they should contact the patient's doctor for confirmation. Noticing a potential problem and failing to address it may count against a pharmacist as medical malpractice. Pharmacists can also be held responsible for not reporting patients who appeared to be "doctor shopping" and suffered severe harm by overdosing on medication.

As a patient, you expect professionals providing you health care to ensure accuracy in your medications. If a pharmacist fails in this duty of care, you might be able to hold them responsible for their mistake in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Ask a medical malpractice lawyer about whether your case might be eligible.