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Is a pharmacist liable for a drug reaction?

When you get your prescription filled at a Texas pharmacy, the pharmacist may ask if you have any questions about your medication. Whether you say yes or no, he or she is likely to next you to note that you accepted counseling from him or her regarding your medication. While you absolutely should discuss the possible outcomes of any prescription with your doctor, your pharmacist has specialized training regarding medications and may have some important information that the doctor didn't mention.

If the pharmacist doesn't provide that information, and you have a bad reaction to the medication, is he or she liable?

The answer, according to Managed Health Care Connect, is maybe. Pharmacists do have a legal duty of care to their customers. On the other hand, the law also recognizes that pharmacists are not doctors, and while yours may have information about the drug to share with you, he or she doesn't have enough information about your medical condition or your treatment needs to advise you regarding its prescription. 

There are some situations where your pharmacist may identify a red flag that the doctor missed, though. For example, he or she may ask you if you have an allergy to a particular type of medication, and if you do, you may need to call your doctor to discuss an alternative. If the pharmacist knows that you have an allergy to the medication, his or her duty of care is to alert either you or your doctor regarding this risk.

This information is general in nature; it should not be interpreted as medical or legal advice.

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