Most Common Types of Pharmacy Malpractice

Pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and other trained employees must adhere to very specific guidelines. Because their job is often life or death for patients, they undergo extensive training to ensure they understand and obey these guidelines. Still, mistakes happen. Pharmacy mistakes occur in many ways, and can cause a wide variety of issues for patients. Some of the most common types of pharmacy malpractice include:

The Pharmacist Dispenses the Wrong Dosage

This type of pharmacy malpractice may occur when the pharmacist gives a larger dosage pill than prescribed, or gives instructions to take too many at one time.

This can cause an overdose, or other serious health concerns. This type of mistake is also common in compounding pharmacies, when the pharmacist compounds the drug with more of the medication than necessary.

The Pharmacist Dispenses the Wrong Drug

It may seem unlikely that you would leave the pharmacy with the wrong medication, but it actually happens more than you realize. This occurs when:

  • The patient gets another patient’s prescription
  • The pharmacist cannot read the prescription
  • The pharmacist accidentally swaps the medication with another, similar-sounding prescription

Pharmacists dispense the wrong medication because of confusion between similar names far too often. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had to issue a warning in 2005 because so many pharmacists were mixing up Tegretol and Toprol. This can also happen when two patients have similar names.

The Pharmacist Failed to Catch a Drug Interaction

Pharmacists have to be aware of both possible adverse reactions to medications and possible interactions with other drugs. They have a responsibility to discover any potential risk factors for a bad reaction, and to warn patients about it.

Because patients often see more than one doctor, pharmacists must be especially careful to look for potential drug interactions. Failing to do so may lead to a number of medical issues, including death.

The Pharmacist Failed to Provide Adequate Counseling

Pharmacists have a responsibility to give patients the right directions regarding how and when to take prescription medications. If they fail to do this, or give the wrong instructions, the patient may take too much of a drug or not get enough to adequately treat their health condition.

The Pharmacist Missed Drug Allergies

Pharmacists must ensure patients do not have a known allergy to any medications prescribed, or other allergies that would prevent them from taking the drug safely. If they assume the doctor has done this and dispense the medication anyway, they may miss potentially dangerous drug allergies that lead to emergency medical situations. 

How can Coffey McPharlin help if I suspect pharmacy malpractice?

If you believe you or a loved one suffered injuries because of a pharmacy mistake at a Fort Lauderdale pharmacy, you may have a malpractice claim. The pharmacist, staff, and company may owe you compensation for your losses.

Coffey McPharlin can advise you about your legal options, help you calculate your losses and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 954-541-3194 today to speak to one of our pharmacy malpractice attorneys.