Pharmaceutical Malpractice Essay Sample
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Pharmaceutical Malpractice Essay Sample
Pharmacists are health care professionals who aid physicians, dentists and veterinarians by dispensing appropriate medications and councils patients regarding their medications. Occasionally, there are cases where pharmacists are held liable for negligence by dispensing improper dosage of medication prescribed by the doctor or may have written the wrong instructions to go with the medication. Being an important role in the health care industry, pharmacist negligence could cause a patient detrimental harm, such as; allergic reaction, sever health risks, or even death. Therefore, it is very important for pharmacist to be thorough and follow installed guidelines, rules and regulation to prevent horrible results.
In a case study retrieved from Healthcare Provider Services Organization, discuss a 25 year old patient who had previously suffered severe leg injury and surgery resulting in severs chronic pain and restless leg syndrome. He was receiving Methadone for unremitting pain. His physician ordered Ketamine tablet to be compound and dispensed by the pharmacist. The patient was previously unknown to this pharmacy and had no prior records, so the pharmacist was not aware of the patient’s current medications. The pharmacist filled the order and dispensed the prescription. The pharmacist provided the patient with an education sheet for the patients receiving oral Ketamine. Five days after obtaining the oral Ketamine prescription, the 25 year old patient was found dead by his girlfriend (Organization). After reviewing the case it was apparent the pharmacist made one major error that caused a man his life according to the judge. The error that was made by the pharmacist is he did not get the medical and medication background of the patient. If the medication history was taken it would have been noted that some medications are not meant to be mixed together and it would not have caused the death of the patient.
There are several different ways this case could have been handled differently in order to ensure the safety of the patient. The first alternative for the pharmacist was to get a thorough medical history of patient because of the medication that he was dispensing. When learning the various drugs and the combination of mixtures that should not have been made it would have been a red flag for him to spot. Another alternative that could have been considered if he felt that patient was not going to give him the proper information is to get a release of information signed and contacted the prescribing physician to get a thorough medical history and converse with the doctor about the medication he prescribed. For some pharmacist this may be going beyond his job description but, if there is an opportunity to save someone’s life then it is an important part of his job. The last alternative for pharmacist if the previous two were unobtainable it to warn patient of the side effects of the medication and give him literature stating what the medication is for and the side effects that can happen if abused. These are some of the job performances that can help not only the patients but the pharmacists from malpractice lawsuits.
In order to be more proactive with establishing policies and procedures that would ensure that both pharmacists and patients have the proper information regarding the prescribed medication and in receiving the information the ability to sign for receipt of information. With the signature of both pharmacist and patient it relinquishes the responsibility on both parties for malpractice and puts it on the prescribing physician. Within the signature page have the patient check off that they understand and are aware of the risks in taking the medications and the consequences of taken more than the prescribed dosage.
As mentioned from the article it is very important to relay the proper information to the patient because it cannot be taken for granted that they know what the risk and side effects are to their medication. With the policy of signatures for both pharmacist and patient it would ensure there is communication between the two major parties.