Pharmacy Malpractice in Texas: All You Need to Know

When you fill a prescription at your local, grocery, or chain pharmacy, you trust that the highly trained pharmacist will dispense the correct medication at the proper dosage. But far too often, pharmacy errors lead to dangerous drug interactions, overdoses, and even death. If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed by a medication mistake, you may be entitled to significant compensation under Texas law.

Types of Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacy errors can take many forms, but some of the most common include:

  • Dispensing the wrong drug
  • Dispensing the wrong dosage
  • Failing to account for drug interactions or contraindications
  • Providing incorrect instructions for taking the medication
  • Mislabeling the medication

Pharmacy errors can happen anywhere. Read our article how one state’s investigation finds CVS errors in 20% of prescriptions and how a lawsuit alleges Walgreens pharmacist gave man wrong prescription drug.

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States.

Systems to Prevent Pharmacy Errors

To help prevent medication mistakes, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recommends that pharmacies implement the following safeguards:

  • Computerized physician order entry systems
  • Automated dispensing cabinets
  • Barcode medication administration
  • Medication reconciliation
  • High-alert medication double-checks
  • Ongoing quality improvement monitoring

When pharmacies fail to adopt these industry-standard safety practices and it leads to a medication error, it may be considered negligence. Other common signs of pharmacy negligence include:

  • Understaffing that prevents pharmacists from safely filling prescriptions
  • Inadequate pharmacist training or supervision
  • Failure to counsel patients on proper medication use
  • Failure to report medication errors when they occur

There are many reasons pharmacy errors occur. For example, we wrote how under-staffing at pharmacies may lead to medication errors, danger to patients.

Case Example: Drug Interaction Leads to Fatal Overdose

This brings to mind the sad case of a 57-year-old Texas man whose doctor electronically transmitted to a pharmacy a prescription to the antibiotic clarithromycin for a respiratory infection. At the time, he was also taking the cholesterol medication lovastatin.

The pharmacist filled both prescriptions without warning of the serious drug interaction between these two medications. Taken together, clarithromycin and lovastatin can cause rhabdomyolysis, a dangerous condition involving the breakdown of muscle tissue.

As you might have guessed, the man developed rhabdomyolysis and acute renal (kidney) failure. Despite extensive medical treatment, he died a few weeks later. His family requested an autopsy, which revealed that he had a toxic buildup of lovastatin because of the drug interaction, which caused his death.

The man’s family hired a Texas pharmacy error attorney and pursued a wrongful death claim against the pharmacy. Through the lawsuit, they sought compensation for:

  • The man’s medical bills to treat the rhabdomyolysis and renal failure
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The wife’s loss of financial support from her husband’s lost earnings
  • Mental anguish suffered by the man’s wife and adult children

Texas Damages in Pharmacy Error Lawsuits

If a pharmacy error leads to injury or death in Texas, victims and families may be able to recover substantial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Potentially recoverable damages include:

  • Past and future medical expenses related to treating the pharmacy mistake
  • Past lost wages if the error caused the patient to miss work
  • Loss of future earning capacity if the patient can no longer work
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium for the spouse

Consult a Texas Pharmacy Error Attorney

Medication errors are far too common and can have life-altering consequences. If you suspect a pharmacy’s negligence caused you or a loved one serious harm, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Texas pharmacy error lawyer right away. Read more about pharmacy errors in our article how a medication error temporarily paralyzes Houston patient, causes brain injury.

A skilled attorney can investigate the error, determine whether negligence occurred, and fight to hold the pharmacy fully accountable. With the help of an experienced lawyer, many pharmacy error victims are able to recover substantial compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact a top-rated Texas pharmacy negligence attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

Robert Painter
Article by

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.