Medical malpractice in Rochester can take many different forms, and it is critical to understand how different kinds of healthcare providers can be liable for patient harm. A common but less discussed area of medical malpractice involves pharmacists and dispensing errors. When can a pharmacist be liable for medical negligence, and how do dispensing errors occur? In some circumstances, dispensing errors result from another provider’s initial negligence, yet they often involve some liability on the part of the pharmacist. Our Rochester medical malpractice attorneys can provide you with more information about pharmacist dispensing errors and when you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against a pharmacist.
Learning More About Dispensing Errors
Medication errors can take many forms, and various kinds of health care providers can be liable for medication mistakes that cause patient injuries. One specific type of medication error is a dispensing error. According to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (ACMP), “the term dispensing error refers to medication errors linked to the pharmacy or to whatever health care professional dispenses medication.” The ACMP classified dispensing errors as either “errors of commission,” meaning that there was an error made in the medication that was dispensed, and “errors of omission,” referring to mistakes involving a pharmacist’s failure to give information or to consider drug interactions.
Within this narrower category of the dispensing error, there are even more specific kinds of mistakes that occur. Those can include, for example:
- Dispensing the wrong medication;
- Dispensing the incorrect dosage of the medication prescribed;
- Dispensing the wrong medication strength;
- Miscalculating the correct dosage of medication;
- Failing to identify potential drug interactions;
- Failure to identify side effects associated with the drug; and/or
- Failing to provide the patient with information about other health issues to consider when taking the drug prescribed.
When one of these types of injuries occurs, the pharmacist who made the mistake could be liable if the patient suffers harm.
Injury is Necessary for a Dispensing Error Claim
In order to be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a pharmacist in connection with a dispensing error, you must have suffered actual harm. To be clear, if your pharmacist made a mistake and you realized the error before taking the drug and suffering an injury, you will not have a claim. However, if the delay in correcting your medication did result in harm, you could potentially have a claim.
In most dispensing error cases, a patient took a medication that involved a dispensing error, and suffered direct harm as a result of taking the incorrect drug or the wrong dosage, suffered harm because of a dangerous interaction or contraindication, or suffered harm because of the drug did not treat what it was supposed to treat and the patient’s condition worsened as a result. You should discuss your circumstances and experience with a lawyer who can determine your eligibility for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Seek Advice from a Rochester Medical Negligence Lawyer
If you have any questions about filing a claim after a dispensing error and injury, you should get in touch with one of our experienced Rochester medical malpractice lawyers for assistance. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP today.