Montlick and Associates Reviews Walgreen Lawsuit Based on Doctor Warnings Not to Fill the Prescription


April 07, 2014

A recently filed lawsuit raises novel questions about the liability of a pharmacy that continues to dispense medications even after being informed by a doctor that the pharmacy should no longer fulfill the prescription according to an online report. A pharmacy can be liable for improperly filling a prescription if the customer suffers adverse effects because the pharmacy provides the wrong drug or incorrect dosage. Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick and Associates handle all types of medical negligence claims, including pharmacist malpractice.

The medical malpractice lawsuit against Walgreens® pharmacy was filed by a mother who alleges that the pharmacy was responsible for her son’s death. According to the lawsuit, the pharmacy was negligent because it continued to fill her son’s prescription for Vicodin® for two years after the son’s physician informed the pharmacy that it should discontinue filling his prescriptions for the drug. Because the doctor presumed that his patient would “doctor shop” to continue satisfying his dependency on the prescription pain pills, the doctor allegedly contacted the pharmacy directly to inform the pharmacist of the situation. The doctor also requested that prescriptions from other doctors for Vicodin® not be filled because the customer was dependent on the drug.

The documents filed in the in the lawsuit also indicate that a notation was made in the Walgreens® computer file, but the pharmacy continued to fulfill the customer’s prescription until he died two years after receiving the doctor’s warning. The last prescription was filled in July 2012, and the fatal overdose occurred in August 2012. While it is not clear how the lawsuit will proceed, the evidence of notice that includes the information in Walgreens own computer system could help support a claim for negligence by the pharmacy.

There are a range of pharmaceutical errors that can constitute medical malpractice, which might include the following:

  1. Supplying the wrong medication
  2. Failing to consider customer allergies
  3. Providing an incorrect dosage that can lead to an overdose or inadequate dosage to treat the condition
  4. Failure to anticipate potentially dangerous drug interactions

Mistakes can sometimes be more common with the growth of massive chain pharmacies because of the involvement of inexperienced and nominally paid pharmacy technicians along with the high volume of prescriptions being filled. Pharmacists have a legal duty to check the medications prepared by pharmacy techs. When prescription errors cause harm to a patient, this may provide a basis to seek financial compensation. Even if the patient has a pre-existing medical condition, a pharmacy error that accelerates the illness, prevents treatment of the illness or causes harmful side effects may constitute a basis for pursuing a legal claim.

Atlanta Medical Malpractice Law Firm—Representing the Victims of Negligence For Over 30 Years

If you or a loved one is injured or a loved one dies because of a pharmacist error, contact the Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick and Associates. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.