Pharmacists' Liability in Medical Malpractice

Patients, when picking up their prescriptions at a pharmacy, expect the medications to be filled correctly as per the physician’s instructions. The tiniest error on the part of the pharmacist can have devastating and long-lasting consequences for the patient. In some cases, the consequences can be fatal too. Based on this, can these errors be brushed off as simple negligence, or do they form part of a larger medical malpractice concern? Prescription drug errors are becoming increasingly commonplace in Florida in recent years. Some of the largest pharmacies in the state have had to pay millions as settlements to avoid going to the courtroom. 

Years ago, physicians used to be sued for medical malpractice, but now pharmacists can be held liable as well since they are recognized as licensed healthcare professionals. You need a dedicated law firm that has considerable knowledge in the areas of law and medicine. The Alvarez Law Firm has an extensive record of handling complex cases involving pharmacy mistakes. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to determining fault and proving the negligence of healthcare professionals that caused your pharmacy or prescription medication injury. 

Woman sitting down taking her medicine

Common Mistakes Made by Florida Pharmacies

Medicines are potent chemicals – the smallest pill or drop of liquid has the power to heal or cause significant damage. The FDA in 2016 reported that over 1.3 million people get injured every year because of medication errors in the United States. In Florida, pharmacies have the duty to correctly fill prescriptions.

Pharmacies may be held liable in the following circumstances:

  • Side effects: Your pharmacist is required to check your medical history and flag any drug or medication that may cause an allergic reaction or side effects.
  • Drug interactions: Pharmacists are required to ensure that there is no adverse interaction between the medications in your existing and new prescription. 
  • Drug mix-ups: Pharmacists have the duty to prevent mix-ups by not getting confused between similar-looking pills or drugs of similar-sounding names.
  • Under and overdose: Incorrect dosage can have drastic consequences, and pharmacists have a duty to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Negligence in Prescription Drug Error Claims

Almost all medical malpractice lawsuits involve negligence. However, establishing negligence alone is not enough to bring a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Negligence is only one component of the claim. Your attorney needs to prove that you were actually harmed by the pharmacist’s negligence and suffered damages to qualify for drug error compensation.

These are some of the common prescription medication and pharmacy errors that can result in pharmacist medical malpractice in Florida:

  • Failure to warn of side effects
  • Incorrect dosage instructions
  • Not compounding the drugs properly
  • Not following doctor’s orders
  • Refilling prescriptions when it wasn’t required
  • Not reviewing your medical history
  • Providing medications that interact negatively with other drugs
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Recoverable Damages Through a Pharmaceutical Error Claim

You may be entitled to financial compensation for the following injuries and losses depending on the individual facts of your pharmaceutical injury case:

  • Medical bills (including future bills)
  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Pain and suffering

It takes a relentless litigator to maximize compensation by leaving no stone unturned during negotiations with the insurance company. 

Statute of Limitations for Florida Prescription Malpractice Claims

There is a two-year statute of limitations for bringing a pharmacist error claim in Florida. There are certain exceptions to this rule, though. For instance, the statute of limitations can be extended if the victim is a minor, the pharmacy intentionally concealed the error, or you discovered the injury after taking the medications for a few months. It’s recommended that you speak with a dedicated attorney, even if you have missed the deadline. There are always opportunities to bring a claim. 

Proving a Pharmacist Medical Malpractice Claim in FL

Certain criteria need to be proven in pharmacist malpractice claims, which are slightly divergent from personal injury lawsuits. Your attorney would need to show that:

  • A relationship existed between you and the pharmacist
  • The pharmacist did not apply the prevailing standard of care while filling the prescription
  • The negligence resulted in considerable harm to you

It’s vital to understand that there are other parties that may be held responsible for medication errors. Your doctor may have prescribed the wrong medication, or the drug may be defective because of manufacturing problems. It’s fundamental that healthcare professionals follow established safety protocols while prescribing medications. However, this makes it necessary to retain the services of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to identify all at-fault parties.

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Contact the Alvarez Law Firm An Experienced Miami Pharmaceutical Negligence Lawyer

Pharmaceutical malpractice can result in devastating consequences for the patient – both psychologically and physically. In certain cases, a tiny mistake can cost someone their life. The experienced Miami pharmaceutical negligence attorneys at the Alvarez Law Firm take such cases very seriously. We fight relentlessly to obtain fair compensation and justice for our clients that have been harmed by a healthcare professional. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 877-445-7675 or fill out this online contact form.

Let’s talk about your case.

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