Who can be found liable if I am injured as a result of Pharmaceutical Malpractice?

If you, or a loved one, has been seriously injured, or has died, as a result of Pharmaceutical Malpractice there are potentially a number of parties that can be held responsible for your injuries, depending upon when, where and how your injury occurred.

Many injuries that happen as the result of Pharmaceutical Malpractice occurs because the drug is defective, or it has unintended side effects or reactions to other drugs a patient may be currently taking. Drug manufacturers have a duty to provide products that, if introduced into the stream of commerce for human consumption, are free of unreasonably dangerous defects to those who may use them. Even though manufacturers may conduct stringent tests and evaluations before placing a drug on the market, the manufacturer can still be held liable in the event people suffer injury as a result of using their product. Distributers may also have liability for any harm that patients endure as a result of using a drug that their efforts brought to market and placed on the shelves of pharmacies and stores, giving consumers access to that drug.

Those who prescribe drugs have a duty to insure that the correct drugs, at the appropriate dosages, are recommended to their patients. Emergency room doctors and treating doctors in a hospital frequently prescribe medication to patients under their care. Those doctors need to pay close attention to patients to insure that the proper drugs and dosages are being recommended, and do not have dangerous interactions with medicine the patients are currently taking.  This duty also extends to primary care physicians and any other physician or physician’s assistant that may prescribe any medication to a patient under their care. Failure to exercise due care in prescribing medication to a patient would ultimately be considered a breach of that duty and expose the doctor or assistant to liability in the event that patient was harmed as a result of that breach.

Health care professionals that are charged with the administration of medication to a patient also share in the duty to insure that medication is dispensed in the manner it was prescribed and used in the intended manner. These professionals also are charged with the detection of any obvious errors they may observe in the performance of their duties that could have an adverse effect on the patients under their care. Nurses, dentists, osteopaths and health care facilities employees (hospitals, nursing homes) can be found liable for deviating from the acceptable standard of patient care. Deviation from that standard of care could place them under the umbrella of negligent conduct and expose them to liability for any injuries, too.

Unfortunately, the high number of prescriptions filled daily at pharmacies can result in negligent mistakes, and when the process is abused, it can result in reckless mistakes. An incorrectly filled prescription has the potential to be deadly, and has been responsible for numerous severe injuries and death to individuals who relied on their pharmacy to ensure the medication they receive is the same as the one their physician prescribed.  Pharmacy experts say a big part of the problem is a shortage of pharmacists.  In has been estimated that the number of pharmacists is growing about 1-2 percent a year and the amount of work that each pharmacy is doing is increasing at a much greater rate. Too much work for not enough workers equals disaster in any profession.   The old joke about doctor’s handwriting being illegible can also have sad consequences in the event a pharmacist misreads a prescription and provides a patient with the incorrect drug or the improper dosage. The frequency in which physicians change out generic and brand name prescriptions is also a contributing factor, as a common drug may have multiple names. Statistics show that many pharmaceutical malpractice actions are caused by mistakes from the wrong drugs being dispensed from pharmacies. Obviously, pharmacists and their employers can also share liability for any injuries sustained as a result of an improperly dispensed prescription.

Determining who is at fault when you have been injured as a result of pharmaceutical malpractice can sometimes be confusing. If you have been injured, you want to be sure all of the offending parties are held accountable for their actions. You need an experienced attorney by you side to identify all the parties that may be responsible for your injuries. If you have been a victim of pharmaceutical malpractice, let the Law Office of Dan Newlin & Partners help.  Call our office at (407) 888-8000 today. The call is free.  Don’t wait until it is too late, call now. You will be glad you did.