Pharmacists play an extremely important role in our healthcare system. They have the responsibility to make sure that patients are given the right medications in the right dose. Any negligence or error on their part can have serious consequences and put patients’ lives at risk.
If your pharmacist mistakenly filled your prescription with the wrong medication and if you were harmed as a result, you have the right to file a claim against them and seek financial restitution.
Prescription Errors in Virginia
The most common mistakes made by pharmacists in Virginia include:
- Giving the wrong medication to the patient
- Giving a medication that the patient is known to be allergic to
- Giving the right medication, but in the wrong dose
- Giving a medication that is known to interact with the medications that the patient is on
One of the biggest risks associated with prescription errors is that you might not suspect that you have been given the wrong medication. As a result, you might continue taking the medication until you start exhibiting unexpected symptoms. By that time, your health condition might be deteriorated to a significant extent. The risk is particularly great in patients who are getting treated for serious health problems like heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and pulmonary disorder.
If and when it happens, you can hold the pharmacist responsible for the harm you suffered and seek monetary damages.
What Is the Duty of a Pharmacist in Virginia?
Section 18VAC110-20-420 of the Administrative Code states that pharmacists in Virginia have the following responsibilities.
- Personally supervising the preparations made by pharmacy technicians (no more than four technicians at a time)
- Inspecting all prescriptions prior to delivery and making sure that the right medication in the right dose is being dispensed to the right patient
The law also states that a pharmacist can be held accountable for the mistakes made by the technicians under their supervision. So, if your prescription is filled with the wrong medication, and if your health condition deteriorates as a result, you have the right to file a medical negligence claim against the pharmacist.
Liability of the Pharmacy Chain
In some cases, the pharmaceutical company or the pharmacy chain that the pharmacist in question works for can also be held liable for the harm you suffered. For instance, if it is found that the pharmacist is neither licensed nor qualified for their job, and if the company still hired them, the company might be guilty of negligent hiring.
Similarly, if the company forced the pharmacist in question to work long hours or to supervise more than four technicians at a time, they can be held liable for the harm caused by the pharmacist’s error as well.
Damages Recoverable in a Virginia Prescription Error Claim
You can demand compensation for the medical expenses associated with treating your existing health problems – which might have been worsened by the prescription error – as well as any injury you suffered or complications you developed as a result of the error made by the pharmacist.
Common medical expenses you can seek compensation for include:
- Cost of diagnostic tests
- Cost of medical treatment
- Cost of mobility aids (if the prescription error resulted in a short-term or long-term disability)
- Cost of long-term care (if the prescription error resulted in a chronic medical problem or a physical or cognitive disability)
Loss of Income
If the complications that resulted from the prescription error left you bedridden for a period of time or caused you to develop a short-term disability, you can seek compensation for the lost earnings.
Loss of Earning Capacity
This is an important component of a prescription error claim. If the prescription error resulted in a permanent disability or affected your health to such an extent that you might never be able to earn the same amount of money that you used to earn prior to your injury, you can seek compensation for the loss of earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
Knowing that you have been given the wrong medication and suffering the consequences can cause you a great deal of mental anguish. This is something you would not have gone through, if not for the error on the pharmacist’s part. So, you can demand to be compensated for the pain and suffering you underwent as a result of the prescription error.
Choose the Right Virginia Prescription Error Attorney to Represent You
If you were given the wrong medication by your pharmacist, and if you ended up seeking treatment as a result, the medical negligence attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton, & Washburn can help you.
We can investigate your case, find out what caused the prescription error, and file a claim against the pharmacist – and the company they work for if needed – and fight hard to recover the restitution you are owed.
We have over 30 years of experience and have recovered monetary damages worth millions for our clients. Call us today at 800-752-0042 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our Virginia prescription error attorneys.