Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
Massachusetts Bar Association 1911
Plymouth County Bar Association
The American Trial Lawyers Association

Pharmacy Negligence

The Brockton pharmacy negligence attorneys at Sousa & Sousa are experienced professionals in medical pharmacy law. We have successfully represented numerous patients harmed by pharmacy negligence, helping them obtain compensation for their injuries. Our firm provides superior legal representation to clients in Brockton and surrounding towns in Massachusetts.

Pharmacy negligence is a serious epidemic in the United States. Even though Americans shell out $4 billion a year to fill medical prescriptions, a majority of patients have no idea what they are taking. According to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System, more than 82,000 deaths last year were caused by FDA approved drugs. More than 471,291 prescription drug users experienced “serious” adverse outcomes, including life-threatening disabilities and congenital anomalies. With many of these drugs, consumers are the last to know about lethal side effects. Patients on Vioxx, for example, had no idea that the drug more than doubled their risk of heart attacks and strokes, spurring an avalanche of class action suits against the manufacturer.

Because patients are relatively ignorant of the side effects drugs have on the body, they rely on doctors and pharmacists to educate or instruct them on when and how to take medication. While doctors sign prescriptions and give patients some cursory explanation of the medicine, pharmacists have a duty to counsel the patient on the proper dose and potential side effects of each drug. Their responsibility goes beyond counting the pills and handing over the prescription. In fact, they are at the front line of defense between the doctor and the patient. Pharmacists must communicate with physicians to ensure patients receive the proper care. Even small mistakes in prescriptions or dose can be lethal.

Examples of pharmacy negligence include:

  • Confusing prescriptions
  • Recommending the wrong dose
  • Inadequate pharmacy regulations
  • Absence of counsel or advice patients
  • Failure to warn patients about side effects
  • Improper instructions on medication or dose
  • Failure to inquire about serious allergic reactions
  • Neglecting to explain or translate proper directions
  • Inadequate communication with prescribing physician
  • Failure to recognize contraindications with other drugs

Massachusetts law treats pharmacy negligence as a form of medical malpractice. Like doctors, pharmacists are held to a certain standard of care. Due to their extensive education and training, they are considered “specialists” in their field and therefore owe patients a higher duty of care. Pharmacists breach that duty when they fail to properly counsel patients or make mistakes regarding the prescription or dose. In addition to a breach of professional ethics, this violation may also give rise to a claim for negligence. This may occur because the pharmacist is tired or confuses one prescription for another. The employee on duty may forget to warn the patient of certain side effects, or neglect to advise them against taking this new drug with the one they are refilling. Unfortunately, even innocent mistakes can send the patient to the emergency room and have dire consequences for the family.

If you were injured as a result of pharmacy negligence, the experienced Brockton pharmacy negligence lawyers at Sousa & Sousa can help. We have over 37 years of experience assisting plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice claims, recovering compensation for individuals and families across Massachusetts. At Sousa & Sousa, we believe that innocent patients should not have to bear the cost of mistakes made by negligent professionals. That is why we are dedicated to defending the rights of victims injured by pharmaceutical negligence. Our firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation call our Brockton/Easton office at 508-230-5300 or contact us online.