You go to your doctor expecting to receive the absolute best care based off of the results of diagnostic testing as well as his or her own professional opinions. The same holds true when taking prescription medications. However, every year countless individuals suffer due to either medication errors or unsafe drugs. Collectively, these issues can be described as pharmaceutical negligence.
Many mistake the use of the word “negligence” to imply purposeful actions. In reality, negligence can still occur without the element of intent. It may be safe to assume that your local pharmacist is not looking to harm you. Yet if his or her actions (or inactions) result in deviating or failing to meet the accepted standard of care in your case, then you could certainly view them as being negligent.
How do pharmacists fall short in delivering acceptable levels of care? For years the prevailing thought has been that pharmacists simply follow the orders of doctors. Recent legal rulings, however, have recognized them as being skilled professionals who understand clinical cases and the proper use of medications in dealing with them. Thus, if they believe a prescribed medication is not the right choice to address a patient’s ailment, they are expected to share their concerns. Similarly, pharmacy techs and other personnel are not expected to rely solely on technological safeguards to catch potential problems with the prescriptions they are filling, but also their own knowledge.
Many personal injury attorneys can also attest to the fact that drug manufacturers are not immune to claims of pharmaceutical negligence. While the products they provide are meant for patient care, you should remember that oftentimes their motives may be focused more on profits. This may prompt them to try and rush products to the market while failing to adequately address issues that may present themselves during clinical trials.
Given the impact that pharmaceutical negligence may have on the lives of patients, both pharmacies and drug manufacturers have obligations to ensure that their products and decisions are motivated by concerns for patient safety. That same concern should also prompt those who may have had to deal with a medication error to take corrective action, as well.