The presentation covered recent trends in pharmacist malpractice litigation, a pharmacist’s standard of care- how it is established, and the current law on a pharmacist’s duty to warn. The mission of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York is to maintain the standard of pharmacy practice at a high professional and ethical level.

Pharmacist attorneys Frederick Fern and Marina Plotkin recently presented at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (“PSSNY”), the largest pharmacy association in New York State, on “Pharmacy Law Update 2019 – Practice Issues for the Pharmacist: A Legal Perspective”. They discussed how a pharmacist’s duty of care is established, and recent trends in pharmacist malpractice litigation in New York and around the country. Although the standard of care imposed upon pharmacists is ordinary care, this bears a stricter meaning because of the intimate involvement with the health and safety of patients and the vigilance and prudence commensurate with the risks involved in the pharmacy profession. The speakers provided insight and a legal perspective on how to avoid potential liability in various circumstances which pharmacists encounter.

The presentation utilized recent cases as a tool to educate about the pharmacists’ duty of care in everyday practice. The discussion involved various pharmacist duties in light of the evolving nature of the pharmacist-patient relationship, including: the duty to intervene in a drug regimen, the duty not to fill, the duty created by special knowledge about the patient, the duty to verify patient identity, the duty to counsel on OTC drugs, the duty to third parties, the duty to investigate an excessive dose, the duty of the supervising pharmacist, and the duty to notify the prescriber that a prior authorization is required.