The government limits access to prescription medications or controlled substances for the safety of the public. Many of these medications could harm someone if used improperly. They can also lead to addiction.
Patients in need of medical treatment have protection both because their physician must evaluate them to recommend to the drug and then a pharmacist will dispense the drug. These licensed professionals help deter abuse of controlled substances and catch possible issues, like the potential for interactions and allergies, before they hurt a patient.
Unfortunately, even skilled and educated medical professionals can make mistakes. Adults often see multiple doctors, meaning that a physician may not know all of their current medications. However, their pharmacist should. When a pharmacist doesn’t notice an issue before dispensing a drug, a patient’s life could be at risk.
Pharmacists should verify people’s medications before dispensing drugs
Every medication that someone takes and even the dietary supplements they use could affect how a drug behaves in their body. Drug interactions occur for many reasons, and different interactions can affect the body differently. Sometimes, two drugs strengthen each other. Other times, they cancel each other out so they don’t have the effect they’re supposed to.
Pharmacists have training and often specialized software programs specifically to catch potential drug interactions before they had medications out to a patient. They should communicate with the patient about potential interactions and make sure they have accurate information before dispensing drugs. When a pharmacist doesn’t take those steps and a patient suffers serious consequences because of an interaction, they may have grounds for a medication error claim.