Articles Tagged with pharmacist malpractice

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that a pharmacy does not owe a duty of care to unidentified third parties who were injured by a pharmacy customer who was driving while under the influence of controlled prescription drugs. 

In reaching the decision, the court rejected the arguments that  pharmacies have a duty to act to prevent a pharmacy customer from injuring members of the general public and that Nevada’s pharmacy statutory and regulatory laws allow third parties to maintain a negligence per se claim for alleged violations concerning dispensation of prescription drugs and maintenance of customers’ records.

Here is the court’s summary of the facts:

On the afternoon of June 4, 2004, a woman named Patricia Copening driving a SUV ran  into a delivery-van driver who had pulled over to repair a flat tire on the highway’s shoulder, killing him at the scene. She also hit another man, causing a head and other injuries.

A lawsuit filed by the victims and their families against Wal-Mart, who dispensed a painkiller prescription to Copening, asks whether drugstores must use information at their disposal to protect the public from potentially dangerous customers.  State officials had sent letters to 14 pharmacies in the Las Vegas area warning that Copening could be abusing drugs.  The letters were issued after a state-ordered prescription audit identified potential drug abusers, including Copening.

According to this story from Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Nevada pharmacies have been gathering information about prescription drug use, sending it to the state, and receiving letters from the state advising about potential drug abuse since 1997.