Lee M. Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC
Personal Injury Law
Admitted to practice in Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and *Florida
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Lake Charles 337-494-5757 Baton Rouge 225-763-7777 Toll Free 855-755-5757

Pharmacists can be guilty of medical malpractice too

The reason that many medications prescribed by doctors cannot be purchased over-the-counter is because their potential side effects and/or drug interactions can be dangerous. It is up to pharmacists here in Louisiana and elsewhere to ensure that the prescription is filled properly and will not pose any significant danger to the patient. If a pharmacist breaches that duty, it could be considered medical malpractice.

An error can occur when a prescription is filled in many ways. A patient can be given the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of the right medication or no instructions with the right medication. Any of these oversights could potentially harm the recipient.

In addition, many medications have adverse reactions when they are combined. This is something that pharmacists should be on the lookout for, but if they fail to identify a potential adverse interaction of medications, the patient could suffer serious injury or death. There is even the possibility that a medication could be defective. If a pharmacist receives a recall notice or other warning from a manufacturer or the Food and Drug Administration and fails to adhere to it, defective medications could end up in the hands of patients who become injured.

If you or a loved one believes that a pharmacist made a mistake while filling a prescription and a serious or fatal injury resulted, a medical malpractice claim might be appropriate. If negligence can be established through appropriate evidence, a Louisiana court might consider an award of damages. Any restitution received from a monetary judgment could help with the inevitable medical costs associated with the medication error.