New York pharmacy owners and pharmacists know they serve an important role for their patients. In addition to preparing and dispensing medications that their patients need, they have a duty to provide their patients with accurate and vital information medications, how they should be taken, how often and any side effects that may occur.
Most take this responsibility seriously and are understandably fearful of potential liability due to a medication error claim by a patient. Unfortunately, medication error claims do happen. Although some of the claims may have merit, some may not. Patients may automatically assume that if they have an adverse reaction to a medication, the pharmacist who filled it, or doctor who prescribed it, is at fault, and attempt to assign blame.
Possible defenses to explore
However, the adverse reaction may not be due to a pharmacist’s negligence or medication error but may be something that the patient caused themselves. The patient may be taking other medications that they neglected to tell their doctor or the pharmacist about, and the combination of medications may cause an adverse reaction.
Some medications should not be taken with certain foods, and most medications should not be mixed with alcohol. Patients making medication error claims should be questioned about what foods they ate while taking the medication, or if they consumed alcohol, and how much.
Medications should be kept in their original containers and stored properly. Some may need to be stored in a cool, dry place, while others may need to be stored in a refrigerator. Many medications look the same, and patients may accidentally take the wrong medication, or mix it into another bottle. Patients who take many different medications are more prone to this and should take proactive steps to organize their medications.
These are just some examples of things that should be investigated as potential defenses to a medication error claim. Experienced attorneys know how to thoroughly investigate and analyze the situation to determine if any defenses are available.