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Can I Sue a Pharmacist for Not Filling My Prescription?

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Can I Sue a Pharmacist for Not Filling My Prescription?

When you go to the pharmacy with a valid prescription, you reasonably expect the pharmacist to provide you with the medication you need so that you can start feeling better. When this doesn’t happen, it can be incredibly frustrating. Whether it’s because of incompetence, negligence, or any other reason, the outcomes can be damaging or even life-threatening. 

If you find yourself in this situation and have suffered because of a pharmacist’s choices, you should consider contacting a lawyer right away. At Morgan & Morgan, we can assist you with this. Our lawyers have decades of experience handling these types of situations. No matter where you’re located in the country, we can help. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to set up a free consultation. 

What Is the Pharmacist’s Duty?

To understand what the pharmacist is required to do and when they could get in trouble for failing to fill a prescription, it’s important to understand the duties of a pharmacist. A key member of any health care system is the pharmacist. They often play a crucial role as part of the medical team. Their job goes beyond filling out prescriptions and dispensing pills.

They have specific responsibilities prescribed by the law, which may vary across state lines, but typical duties include the following:

  1. Giving a patient proper counsel on the possible side effects of the drugs the pharmacist will dispense 
  2. Reviewing the patient’s other prescriptions and medical history
  3. Ensuring that there are no interactions between a patient’s current prescriptions and the medication about to be dispensed 
  4. Reaching out to the health care provider of a patient if there are doubts regarding the new prescription
  5. Contacting the patient’s health care provider if the pharmacist believes the prescription could be doing more harm than good 
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  • Who Can Be Sued if a Pharmacist Won’t Fill a Prescription? 

    If a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription and this refusal causes damage to the patient’s health, the patient can sue the pharmacist and attempt to hold them liable. This would be under a typical medical malpractice/negligence framework. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to prove that the pharmacist owed you a duty of care, they breached the duty, you suffered an injury, and the injury was the result of the pharmacist’s breach.

    In some circumstances, it might be possible to sue the pharmacy as well. If your prescription isn’t filled because the pharmacy did something wrong, such as not allowing the pharmacist to dispense the medication, you should discuss your options with a lawyer and determine who can be held liable.

  • What Should I Do If My Prescription Isn’t Filled?

    If you are attempting to fill a prescription but it isn’t done—for whatever reason—and this causes you harm, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. An experienced medical malpractice and personal injury lawyer can assist you with this. Common types of harm and damages that you may incur as a result include the following:

    • Medical bills 
    • Physical pain and suffering 
    • Emotional pain and suffering
    • Lost wages
    • Lost future wages

    The above list is not exhaustive, and there are other types of losses you may incur as a result of your medication not being filled. 

    Statute of Limitations

    The statute of limitation is the deadline by which you must file a claim to recover monetary compensation. The deadline for filing a claim against a pharmacist who refuses to fill a prescription or one who has dispensed the wrong medication will differ from state to state. However, the typical statute of limitations is between one and four years. If you fail to file your case within the specified time frame, you will lose out on the ability to recover any monetary compensation, regardless of how strong your case is and the extent of your damages.

    In each state, there can be extensions to the statute of limitations in some circumstances. The following factors may further influence the statute of limitations: 

    • If the defendant is out of the state
    • If the victim is underage
    • If the victim is deemed mentally incompetent
    • When the harm is discovered

    This is arguably the most important aspect of a medical malpractice case because failure will preclude you from recovering any monetary compensation. Speak with a lawyer right away to ensure that your claim is filed on time. A deadline of one or two years might sound like a lot to you, but that time passes quickly. Witnesses disappear, video footage is erased, and the more time that passes, the more difficult it will be to prove your claim.  

    Suing a Pharmacist for Dispensing the Wrong Medication

    Another common issue that arises is suffering injuries because a pharmacist dispensed the incorrect medication. To be successful in this type of claim, you will have to prove that the pharmacist was negligent, just as you would have to do in the case of a refusal. The pharmacist must owe you a duty. They must have breached that duty, you must have suffered injuries, and the injuries must have been caused by the breach of duty. This is an incredibly serious situation to find yourself in, and you could be entitled to significant monetary damages. Contact an experienced medical malpractice/personal injury lawyer right away.

  • Why Would a Pharmacist Refuse to Dispense a Prescription? 

    There are several cases where pharmacists have refused to dispense certain medications to a patient. In most cases, the refusals have been narrowed down to religious beliefs, moral standards, and uncertainty. These cases can cause significant harm to the patient involved. 
    The report of pharmacy companies refusing to fill birth control prescriptions or sell emergency contraceptives to women has been a frequent occurrence in many states in the US. Aside from the reasons mentioned above, there are other reasons a pharmacist may not fill your prescription, including the following: 

    Authentication of the Prescription

    If for any reason, a pharmacist suspects prescription forgery or they suspect that the drug might be used for illegal activities, the pharmacist may refuse to fill your prescription. Before doing this, the pharmacist should confirm the authentication of the prescription from the doctor by calling them and/or sending them a copy of the prescription. 

    Impending Danger to the Patient

    Another reason a pharmacist might refuse to fill your prescription is if a prescribed drug is harmful to your health. This reason may be a bit controversial, as many would wonder why a doctor would decide to prescribe a harmful drug to a patient. In some cases, it’s simply due to oversight. For instance, a patient might be allergic to a drug prescribed or there is a negative reaction between a medication the patient is on and the one about to be prescribed. If a pharmacist catches these errors, they may decide not to dispense the medication.

    Religious and Moral Grounds

    In some circumstances, a patient can be denied a prescription if the pharmacist has a religious or moral ground against such drugs. By the regulations of some states, this is acceptable. 

  • What Are Other Common Pharmacist Mistakes?

    Other common mistakes that pharmacists often make include giving people the correct medication but in the wrong dosage, and giving patients the wrong prescription that should have really been given to someone else. 

  • What if I Was Partially at Fault?

    If you believe that you were partially at fault for the damages you suffered, you might be wondering if you can still collect compensation. This will depend on what state you are in. In some states, you cannot collect compensation if you are at all responsible for your injuries as determined by the court at trial. In other states, you can collect compensation if you are at fault, but only if you are less than 50 percent at fault. In other states, you can collect compensation even if you are found to be 99 percent responsible. Whatever the circumstances, contact an experienced lawyer right away to determine what your rights are.

  • Contact Morgan & Morgan Today

    If you suffered injuries because of an issue with having a prescription filled, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice firm right away. You might be wondering, “Can you sue a pharmacist for not filling out my prescription?” In many situations, the answer is yes. While it’s scary to be in a situation like this, Morgan & Morgan is always here to help you. We have been handling all types of medical malpractice claims for decades, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure you get the justice you deserve. When you hire Morgan & Morgan, you are hiring a firm that cares about your case as much as you do. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation. 

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