It is imperative that pharmacies exercise the utmost care in dispensing medications to patients. When they make a mistake, patients may suffer serious injuries or even death.
Pharmacy Negligence Common Cases
Examples of types of pharmacy negligence include:
- When the wrong dosage is indicated for the right medication and an overdose or underdose results
- When a pharmacy provides the wrong medication
- When a medication becomes contaminated due to improper handling
- When a pharmacist fails to warn a patient of the dangers of mixing medications and a patient becomes critically ill due to a drug interaction
Pharmacy negligence used to be relatively uncommon, but the industry has become increasingly competitive. This competition has led to pharmacies hiring increased numbers of pharmacy technicians to replace the more thoroughly trained and educated pharmacists. Sometimes, they leave only one pharmacist on staff to “supervise” the technicians, who are more prone to mistakes than are pharmacists themselves. Due to the competition, pharmacists are required to fill a certain number of prescriptions per day with as little manpower as possible, with quantity emphasized over quality.
Pharmacy negligence may be discovered when a patient becomes critically ill, presenting at the hospital because either they have not been getting the medicine that they need, or because they have been taking one that causes undesirable side effects. Sometimes, patients may take an incorrectly administered medication for months at a time before realizing the mistake. They may have noticed odd symptoms or ailments but not realized the cause. In some instances, a pharmacy’s negligence may even cause the death of the patient.
Damages Awarded for Pharmacy Negligence
In cases involving pharmacy negligence, a pharmacy may be held liable to compensate the victim or the victim’s family. Compensatory damages for pharmacy negligence are determined by the severity and duration of the injuries suffered due to the mistake. In egregious cases of pharmacy negligence, courts may also order a pharmacy to pay punitive damages to punish him for its bad conduct and discourage such carelessness in the future.
Wrongful Death in Pharmacy Negligence Cases
When a victim in a pharmacy negligence case dies, her spouse may bring a lawsuit for wrongful death and seek compensation for loss of care or companionship, loss of his partner’s financial contribution, and loss of consortium. As in pharmacy negligence cases brought by the victim, courts may also award punitive damages that are meant to punish the defendant for his bad conduct.
David A. Axelrod & Associates: Proven Results in Pharmacy Negligence Cases
David A. Axelrod & Associates has successfully represented clients in pharmacy negligence cases. David A. Axelrod & Associates won a jury verdict of over $31 million against Walgreen Co. when a drug-abusing pharmacist placed the wrong pills into a customer’s prescription bottle. This critical error led to a patient’s permanent kidney failure, brain injuries and, ultimately, death.