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Much like doctors and hospitals, many people rely on pharmacies to provide life-saving medications in a safe and trustworthy way. However, despite years of training and intensive licensing procedures, pharmacists can make errors that seriously impact people’s health.

Pharmacies have a legal responsibility to ensure that all medications are properly measured, dispensed, and checked for drug interactions. When they fail in that duty, and people are injured, the injured people have the right to pursue damages.

Winston-Salem pharmacy malpractice lawyers represent the interests of people injured due to pharmacy malpractice to recover compensation for their damages. Contact a qualified malpractice attorney that can fight for the damages that you deserve.

North Carolina Medical Malpractice Laws

In North Carolina, cases alleging pharmacy malpractice are handled in a similar way to any other case alleging negligence. A plaintiff must prove that the pharmacy owed them a duty of care, that the pharmacy breached that duty of care, and that this breach resulted in a tangible injury.

One major way that malpractice cases differ from simpler personal injury cases is the requirement that all complaints be accompanied by an expert’s statement. This statement will provide scientific evidence outlining why the defendant pharmacy was negligent in their care for the plaintiff.

Rule 702 of North Carolina Evidence Rules states that this expert must be employed in the same field as the defendant. In cases alleging pharmacy malpractice, this expert must, therefore, be a pharmacist themselves, preferably such an expert as to be a published author or a teacher at a pharmacy school.

Proving Negligence

All pharmacists retain a duty of care towards their customers as soon as they fill a prescription. A pharmacy’s care becomes negligent when it falls below the acceptable standard of care as defined in North Carolina Statute 90-21.12 which states that: “…the standards of practice among members of the same health care profession with similar training and experience situated in the same or similar communities under the same or similar circumstances at the time of the alleged act…”

In short, that the pharmacist acted as an average pharmacist would have given the circumstances. The decision of whether or not this care was acceptable will be determined by a jury. Common examples of substandard care include:

  • Not properly advising the customer of the medications’ side effects
  • Dispensing the incorrect medication
  • Dispensing the medication in incorrect dosage
  • Not properly asking the customer about other medications for potential adverse interactions

However, all potential plaintiffs must be aware that there is a strict time limit within which their suit must be filed in court.

According to North Carolina Statute 1-15, a suit must be filed within three years of the injury. Commonly known as the statute of limitations, if this time limit expires, the case will be dismissed by the court. That is why it is important for victims of pharmacy malpractice to seek the services of a Winston-Salem pharmacy malpractice attorney, as soon as they can.

Speaking with a Malpractice Lawyer

Becoming sick or injured as the result of poor pharmaceutical care can be a confusing situation. Many people think that licensed professionals are incapable of making mistakes and that surely any adverse reaction to the medication is simply due to their own bodies.

The fact of the matter is that pharmacists commonly make mistakes in measuring doses, failing to advise of side effects, or even in providing the correct medication as prescribed. When these mistakes result in an injury to a patient, the pharmacist and pharmacy may be held responsible.

A Winston-Salem pharmacy malpractice lawyer can represent the interests of people who have been injured due to a pharmacy’s negligence.

Your attorney can consult with skilled experts to determine the source of the negligence and to provide required evidence to the court. People injured as the result of negligent pharmaceutical care have the right to be compensated. Contact a lawyer today, and see how they can help.