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My local rite aid pharmacy gave my daughter the wrong presciption. What can I do legally about this?

Bristol, VT |

on July 12 2010 I went to my local rite aid pharmacy to have my daughters prescription refilled. they gave my daughter a prescription for narcotics booster. it was a doctor who she had never seen and this medication had my daughters name on it. I specifically asked the pharmacist about this prescription when I picked it upbecause i dod not recognize it. she told me "it's fine just give it to her". I have been trying to get ahold of rite aid and it's staff to no avail for the last 10 days. The district manager called me this morning and admitted that they made a mistake and that the pharmacist is no longer working there and since she is no longer there he offered me a $40 gift card. what are my legal rights on this

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Attorney answers 4


How is your daughter damaged? Your question does not address what happened to her. If she did not sustain an injury, then there is no civil case to be brought. If she did, then you may have a case against the pharmacy. Either way, you could contact your state's pharmacy board to file a complaint. Obviously these facts are pretty egregious.


According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, more than 7,000 deaths occur each year from incorrect prescriptions. Another 1.5 million people are made sick or injured by drug errors.

If your daughter is not seriously harmed, there is no reason to hire a lawyer. There is also no reason to expect the pharmacy to do much of anything about the error. Pharmacies usually won't admit fault, even when no serious injury occurred. The admission in your case is rare.

If you believe the pharmacist should be held accountable for being negligent and putting your daughter's well-being at risk, you should file a complaint with your state pharmacy board, the entity that licenses pharmacists.

Each state's board has an established complaint procedure. You can find a list of the state boards at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Web site.

If your daughter has suffered serious and grievous harm from the incorrect prescription, do not further communicate with the pharmacy. You should never try to negotiate a settlement yourself and, just as your insurer tells you not to make any statements after a serious traffic accident, you should not communicate with the pharmacy in any way. You can only hurt your case.

Instead, collect all the evidence -- any remaining medication, hospital and doctor bills, receipts, death certificates, etc. -- and lock them up in a safe place, preferably a safe deposit box.

Also, take notes. Write down what happened and when, get the names of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and everyone else who played a role in the accident. Do it now, while your memory is fresh. Put the notes in the safe deposit box with the rest of the evidence.

Once you have secured all of the evidence, you must find the most accomplished and most experienced medical malpractice lawyer in your area. Forget everything you have heard about what a litigious society we are and how too many people are filing lawsuits.

The fact is that more than 90% of lawsuits are filed by businesses. It's not lawsuits filed by greviously injured consumers that are clogging the courts. If you have been harmed, the legal system is the place to go for justice. That's why it's there.

You must find the right lawyer. Most lawyers, like most of anything else, are just so-so and most never go to trial and do not aggressively represent personal injury cases. You need to find an accomplished lawyer in your state who: a.) only represents injured consumers and b.) whose practice consists largely of medical malpractice trial work.


You don't say how your daughter was injured. If there is no injury and that you caught the error in time, get the $40 gift certificate and enjoy a free purchase. Without any injuries, you do not have a claim.

I hope this helps-

Nima Taradji

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information and for entertainment purposes and is only for issues arising under Illinois Law. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is always advisable to contact an attorney directly to find answers based on the facts unique to your case.


No injury, no case. Lawsuits in the nature of malpractice exist to make people who have been injured by malpractice whole. If they haven't been injured, that's the end of the inquiry.

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