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Understanding Pharmacy Errors and Malpractice

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You might know what malpractice is. You have probably heard of it, and you may also know it’s relatively common. Doctors and hospitals make mistakes, and they can have serious or even deadly consequences sometimes.

When you think about malpractice, though, you should also consider pharmacies and pharmacists. The law considers it a malpractice form if a pharmacist screws up your scrip and gives you the wrong pills. If they do so, that can harm you or even kill you in some extreme cases.

Let’s talk more about pharmacy errors and what you can do if one happens. There are some options open to you, and it might behoove you to follow through with one of them.

What Are Pharmacy Errors?

If you’re considering pharmacy errors, the one that you’ll probably think of is the pharmacist giving you the wrong medication. Maybe they do that because they feel tired. Perhaps they have worked longer hours than usual, and they misread a label by accident.

That’s not the only possible pharmacy error, though. The pharmacist might give you the proper medication, but they give you the wrong dosage. If you take more of a drug than a doctor told you to, that might have adverse health effects.

The pharmacist might give you improper directions on how to take the medication. They may not warn you about some of the drug’s side effects.

Even though a pharmacist is not a doctor, they should still warn you about what a drug can do. If they neglect to do so, you might very well have a legal case on your hands if you decide to sue them.

Are Pharmacists the Only Ones Who Commit These Errors?

You probably already know that various entities can commit malpractice in a hospital, doctor’s office, or a clinical setting. The same is true in a pharmacy, though. Pharmacists work there, but technicians do as well.

These technicians are not technically pharmacists, but they should have the requisite basic training to fill orders and give you the meds you need. If they do not have the proper training, they have no business being behind a pharmacy counter.

If you do have a situation where a pharmacy tech makes an error in filling your scrip and harms you, you might argue in court that they should not have been working there at all. It is up to the pharmacy to ensure that they only use staff members who have the proper training. If someone unauthorized fills a scrip and hurts you, that’s probably going to be an open and shut legal case if you decide to go in that direction.

What Can You Do if a Pharmacy Employee Harms You?

If a situation like what we described comes up, suing the pharmacy, and specifically the employee who committed the error, makes the most sense. If you sustained physical, emotional, or psychological damage, you can hire a competent lawyer and try to get financial compensation.

This will be a civil trial, which is not the same in legal circles as a criminal one. You can bring a civil case against an entity like a pharmacist, but it is up to the cops and the district attorney to charge them with a crime if they have committed one.

Even if you bring a civil case against the pharmacist or tech who made the mistake, that does not necessarily mean they won’t have to defend themselves as part of a criminal trial as well. However, the only time that’s likely to happen is if they tried to harm you intentionally. That’s a more serious offense than botching a scrip accidentally.

How Can You Resolve These Cases?

If you do eventually get a lawyer and decide to sue the pharmacist or whoever else harmed you, the best outcome will be you winning your case and collecting the money you feel you are due. You can use that money to pay for the medical bills that came about from the harmful medication.

You might also use it for other things, such as rent or food bills. If you can’t work for a time because you have to recover from the improper medication, this might have to happen.

Remember that just because a pharmacist is busy or tired, that’s no excuse for them messing up your medication and harming you. If that happens, you are perfectly within your rights to hire a lawyer and try to get satisfaction and recompense in court.

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