Were you or a loved one harmed by a medication error or another mistake?
You deserve fair compensation for injuries caused by a pharmacy error.
Talk to a respected and experienced pharmacist malpractice lawyer in Georgia.
When most people think about medical malpractice, they think about mistakes made by doctors and physicians such as surgical errors or failure to diagnose a serious condition. But other medical professionals, including pharmacists, can also be held responsible for malpractice, and pharmacists are responsible for a sobering number of medical errors.
We willingly take medicines in order to feel better, but we rely on a team of medical professionals to ensure that we are taking the correct medication in a safe manner. Pharmacists are the last line of defense for ensuring the efficacy and safety of a patient taking a drug, but they don’t always check for drug interactions or other safety issues as is required.
Meet Georgia personal injury lawyer Charles Scholle
When pharmacists at the hospital or the corner drugstore fail in the most basic duties of care they owe to patients, patients can sue them for pharmaceutical malpractice.
With 4 offices in Atlanta, Duluth and Decatur, Scholle Law handles pharmaceutical malpractice and other forms of professional malpractice for clients throughout the state of Georgia. If you were injured by a medication error that you believe was caused by negligence in filling a prescription, don’t hesitate to call us for your free consultation.
Pharmacist malpractice is generally considered a form of medical malpractice in which the pharmacy or pharmacist displayed negligent behavior by breaching their duty to the patient. A pharmacist may be considered negligent if they dispensed the wrong medication, failed to give proper instructions or warnings, filled a prescription with the wrong dosage or failed to check for dangerous interactions.
Why consult a Georgia malpractice attorney?
Although you might be very friendly with your local drug store pharmacist, if you become seriously ill after taking medication or if your loved one has a dangerous response to taking a drug and dies, it is important to protect yourself and your family by getting compensated for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
Charles Scholle represents victims of pharmacy malpractice and their families in the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia. In a lawsuit, the pharmacist’s actions will be compared to and based upon the standard of care for pharmacists within our community. Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring that the litigation process is as stress-free as possible for our clients.
At Scholle Law, our Atlanta malpractice lawyers litigate these cases with skill and compassion. Our clients know they can trust in our ability to communicate important progress in their case. As a top personal injury law firm with a reputation for and commitment to excellence, we are highly skilled at securing the best possible outcome in malpractice cases.
Examples of pharmacist malpractice
Pharmacists are human, meaning they can (and do) make mistakes just like the rest of us. However, what’s different is that a pharmacy error can have life-changing and devastating consequences for the patients and their families. For this reason, pharmacists, like doctors, are held to a higher standard of care.
The most common types of pharmacy malpractice cases arise from the following negligent behaviors:
- Confusing prescriptions
- Contaminating medications
- Compounding medication errors
- Incorrect dosage recommendations
- Lack of instructions and supervision
- Lack of drug and patient review
- Failure to warn a patient about drug side effects
- Failure to ask a patient about allergies
Pharmacist duties, liability and standard of care
Pharmaceutical malpractice takes place when the pharmacists dispense medication in a way that fails to meet the basic standards of care for their profession. These standards can take multiple forms. Pharmacists must ensure that the medications they dispense:
- Are going to the correct patient
- Are the right ones for the patient’s condition
- Are given in the correct dose
- Don’t have any interactions with the other drugs taken by the patient
- Don’t have any recalls or other known safety issues
- Are appropriate for patients’ body weight, gender or other personal characteristics
- Are accompanied by adequate instructions and counseling about long-term side effects
Pharmacists have a professional obligation to counsel their patients about how to safely take the medications they’re filling and warn them about common side effects. They also, of course, have an obligation to avoid basic mistakes like which drug and which dosage the patient should receive.
In order for a patient to recover compensation for injuries caused by pharmacy malpractice, the following 4 elements of negligence must be proven:
Did the pharmacist have a legal responsibility to the patient?
Did the pharmacist fail to uphold that legal responsibility?
Did the pharmacist’s failure to uphold this duty result in harm to the patient?
Did the patient suffer harm that the legal system can address?
Injuries caused by pharmacist malpractice
Pharmaceutical malpractice is surprisingly common. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, medication errors kill 7,000 to 9,000 Americans every year, with hundreds of thousands of other patients experiencing non-fatal errors. A mistake with a prescription can make even safe and effective medicines dangerous.
The injuries resulting from medication errors may not leave visible scars like surgical errors, but they can still be very serious. Dispensing incorrect medications can cause:
- Overdoses leading to health crises
- Underdoses or no treatment at all, worsening the underlying condition
- Drug interactions that reduce the effectiveness of the medications or cause new health problems
- Unexplained symptoms requiring multiple doctor or hospital visits
- Long-term side effects that the patient could have avoided (or knowingly chosen to risk) with adequate information
- Injury from defective or recalled medications
One 2016 study examined the case of a 71-year-old woman who was prescribed blood pressure medication but received an antipsychotic that happened to have a similar brand name. As a result, she was readmitted to the hospital with medication-induced symptoms that resembled Parkinson’s disease. That patient filled her prescription and dutifully took what she was prescribed, but an error that was no fault of her own landed her back in the hospital.
When a pharmacist makes this kind of clear mistake, the patients and families that are hurt as a result have a right to hold them legally responsible with a Georgia pharmacist malpractice lawsuit.
In Georgia, as in all states, there is a deadline for filing a pharmacy malpractice claim. Known as the “statute of limitations,” this time limit is strictly enforced, which is why it’s vital you consult with an attorney before you lose the right to file a claim.
As with general medical malpractice cases in Georgia, state law requires that you file a pharmacist malpractice claim within 2 years of the injury that’s the basis for your lawsuit. Georgia also has another law, called a “statute of repose,” which sets a maximum deadline of 5 years on all medical malpractice lawsuits, regardless of the circumstances.
What to do if you suspect pharmacist malpractice
If you believe that you or someone in your family was injured by a serious pharmaceutical mistake, don’t throw away any of the prescriptions, medications, bottling or labels that were given to you. Seek medical treatment if needed, and then seek the advice of a knowledgeable and experienced malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Don’t delay in contacting Scholle Law as soon as possible. We help clients across Georgia protect their rights and receive compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. To tell us your story and talk to us about how a lawsuit might go, schedule your free consultation.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online