15 December

Pharmacists in Hawaii, like those in other states, can be sued for medical malpractice for various reasons related to the performance of their professional duties. The reasons pharmacists might face malpractice lawsuits typically revolve around errors or negligence in the medication dispensing process or patient counseling. Here are some common scenarios that could lead to a lawsuit:

  1. Dispensing the Wrong Medication: This occurs when a patient receives a different medication than what was prescribed due to a pharmacist’s error. This can lead to adverse reactions, ineffectiveness of treatment, and potentially severe health consequences.
  2. Incorrect Dosage: Providing medication at the wrong strength or dosage can result in underdosing or overdosing, both of which can have serious implications for a patient’s health.
  3. Failure to Identify Drug Interactions: Pharmacists are expected to review a patient’s medication history and identify potential dangerous interactions between prescribed drugs. Neglecting this duty can lead to harmful side effects or diminished effectiveness of treatment.
  4. Inadequate Counseling: Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that patients understand how to properly take their medications, including explaining dosages, timing, side effects, and interactions with food or other drugs. Failure to adequately counsel patients can lead to misuse of medication and adverse health outcomes.
  5. Failure to Review Patient History: If a pharmacist fails to consider a patient’s medical history, allergies, or other relevant health information when dispensing medication, it can result in harmful or fatal outcomes.
  6. Compounding Errors: For pharmacists who prepare compounded medications, errors in the compounding process, such as incorrect ingredients or contamination, can lead to lawsuits.

The Basis of a Lawsuit Against a Pharmacist

The basis for these lawsuits typically involves proving that the pharmacist’s actions deviated from the standard of care expected in their professional practice, directly causing harm to the patient. In Hawaii, as in other jurisdictions, establishing a case against a pharmacist for medical malpractice involves demonstrating negligence, which includes showing that the pharmacist owed a duty to the patient, breached that duty, and that this breach directly caused the injury or harm experienced by the patient.

It’s important for pharmacists to adhere to best practices, including thorough review of prescriptions, effective communication with both patients and prescribers, and staying updated on drug information, to minimize the risk of errors and potential malpractice claims.

Although pharmacists can, and are sued for medical practice, they face fewer malpractice suits compared to other healthcare professionals for several reasons. They have less visibility to patients, utilize risk management strategies and technologies and are highly trained in medication safety and efficacy.

Building a medical malpractice case is a complicated task. Like many personal injury attorneys, our Honolulu medical malpractice attorneys at Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, & Pratt, P.A., work on a contingency fee basis. That means we don’t charge any fees unless we first succeed in recovering compensation for a client. The fee we charge will usually be a percentage of the compensation we recover.

Contact a Honolulu Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a pharmacist’s actions, the Honolulu medical malpractice attorneys at Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, & Pratt are on hand to help you pursue any compensation for which you may be eligible. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 980-495-0046 to schedule a free consultation.

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Jed Kurzban Esq

Catastrophic Injury Attorney Hawaii

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