You may not think about it but your local pharmacist is a medical professional who must comply with high standards of professional conduct. Pharmacists, like doctors and nurses, are “healthcare providers” and in Virginia are regulated by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can cause serious injury and death.
We are currently handling a case against a local pharmacist who dispensed a generic form of a medication to which the patient had a known and documented allergy. The patient did not recognize the name of the medication or the appearance of the pills because it was the generic form of the medication, having a different name with a different shape and color of pill. The patient ended up in the hospital with multiple organ failure after taking the medication for several days. She suffered a stroke due to her reaction to the medication and will reside in a nursing home for the rest of her life!
How common are these types of pharmacy malpractice? In 2005 a jury in Arizona returned a $6 Million verdict in favor of a family of a high school wrestling coach who died of a toxic drug interaction. The defendant was a Walgreens Drug Store. In Missouri, a wrongful death suit was filed against Walgreens Drug Store alleging the pharmacist dispensed a potent chemotherapy drug to a pregnant woman who was supposed to receive prenatal vitamins! It was alleged that the woman’s fetus died as a result of the mother taking this drug over a period of time.