Image via WikipediaThe Nevada Supreme Court has rules that "when a pharmacist has knowledge of a customer-specific risk with respect to a prescribed medication, the pharmacist has a duty to exercise reasonable care in warning the customer or notifying the prescribing doctor of this risk."
The case is Klasch adv. Walgreens, and the opinion may be found here.
In that case, a consumer had a prescription filled at a Walgreen's pharmacy. The consumer had completed a patient profile that indicated known allergies. When a prescription was to be filled, a Walgreens employee called the consumer (Klasch) and conveyed that her prescription had been flagged because of her sulfa allergy. In response, Klasch reportedly indicated that she had taken Bactrim in the past and that she had not experienced any adverse reaction to it. Satisfied with this clarification, a pharmacist then manually overrode the computer system’s flag, and the prescription was released. The consumer took the drug, and developed a horrible condition called SJS. She ultimately died from the complications of that condition, which the survivors in a lawsuit claim were caused by the prescription filled by Walgreens.
The complaint alleged that Walgreens’ pharmacist breached her duty of care by failing to adequately warn Klasch of the prescribed medication’s risks in light of her allergy to it or, alternatively, by failing to call her doctor to clarify whether he really meant to prescribe a medication to which she was allergic.
The Court held that : "