Pharmacy Liability for Prescription Errors

Is the pharmacy liable in a lawsuit when prescription errors cause injury? Maybe, but it may be the fault of the doctor that prescribed it.

Can you sue the pharmacy for prescription errors? Yes. Many prescription drug errors go unreported or even unnoticed by patients (or the error is caught in time). But there is an obvious potential for danger when it comes to prescription drug errors by doctors, pharmacists, and other health care professionals.

What Errors Can Lead to a Lawsuit?

A number of different errors can occur during the prescribing of medication, or during the filling of a prescription at the pharmacy. Here are a few of the more common mistakes: 

  • prescribing the wrong medication
  • prescribing the wrong dosage of the right medication
  • failing to reasonably foresee dangerous complications (such as harmful drug interaction)
  • failing to warn a patient of the dangerous side effects of a drug
  • marketing defective or unreasonably unsafe medications

Who Can Be Held Liable?

When a patient is harmed by a prescription error, a viable medical malpractice claim might exist. A variety of individuals may be legally responsible in these kinds of cases, including:

  • the doctor who prescribed the wrong medication or failed to warn the patient of the dangerous side effects of the drug
  • the pharmacist who filled the wrong prescription (the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, etc.)
  • prescription drug companies, manufacturers, and marketers who supply and endorse unreasonably dangerous drugs.

The Hard Part

These types of cases involve complex medical evidence, and proving that a medication error - and not some other factor - was the cause of the purported injury requires support from medical experts. You'll need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer with access to medical experts willing to review the medical records and testify to the damage caused by the prescription mistake.

To learn more about how medical malpractice cases work, including what you'll need to prove and how losses are compensated, read the basics of medical malpractice.

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