Pharmacist’s Duty Includes Not to Fill Facially Unreasonable Prescription Without Inquiry

Pharmacy Errors

In Sorenson v. Professional Compounding Pharmacists of Western Pennsylvania, Inc., 41 FLW D1119 (Fla. 2D DCA 5-11-2016)(Case Number 2D15-441), the patient died after taking a prescribed concentration of hydromorphone that was fatal. Prior to his death, Sorenson was an Ohio resident who suffered from chronic low back pain. Sorenson’s doctor had managed his pain with a hydromorphone pain pump. While vacationing in Florida, Sorenson visited Charlotte Pain Management Center, Inc. and was prescribed a higher dose of hydromorphone (from 10 mg/mL to 30 mg/mL). This prescription was transmitted directly to the pharmacist who compounded the mediation and sold it to Charlotte Pain. Charlotte Pain thereafter administered it to Sorenson through the pump and he died later that day.

Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The lawsuit was for wrongful death through medical negligence against the pain management providers and the pharmacist. The trial court had dismissed the counts against the pharmacist because the prescription was legally written by the physician. However, the Second DCA reversed and held that a pharmacist has a cognizable duty to use due and proper care in filling a prescription. This means that where a dose is potentially fatal, the pharmacist is required under the law to inquire further by contacting the physician where the dosing was likely to result in serious injury or death if given as prescribed.

The Legal Duty Of A Pharmacist In Florida

It is important to note that this case only involved whether there was a legal duty for the pharmacist under such circumstances. The case did not address whether the pharmacist actually breached that duty as that would have to be decided by a jury. It is also important to note that the physician who prescribed the medication would likely be held responsible in a trial and the real question for the jury is what proportion, if any, the pharmacist is also responsible for Sorenson’s death.

Talk To A Polk County Pharmacy Error Attorney Today

If you have been prescribed the wrong medication in Polk County, Florida or have questions about legal liability for an injury or death due to a pharmacy error in Polk County, Florida, please contact a pharmacy error attorney in Polk County, Florida for a free consultation.

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