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Pharmacy malpractice and negligence

In a rare unanimous opinion by the Michigan Supreme Court, the Justices spelled out the theories which may be pursued when a pharmacy errs in filling a prescription

In Kuznar v. Raksha Corporation, the Plaintiff was injured when a pharmacy tech mistakenly filled her prescription, administering 8 times the proper dosage of her medication.  The Pharmacy's insurer argued that her claim should be dismissed because the store and the tech should be considered health care professionals, and therefore receive the benefit of the protections of medical malpractice liability reforms. This argument was pressed, despite evidence that the Defendants were not in compliance with safety statutes requiring the presence of a supervising pharmacist on-site.

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the insurer's claims, noting first that the Pharmacy was not a "natural person" entitled to licensure as a health care professional, and that the tech also did not qualify.  Further, the pharmacy did not meet the statutory definition of a "licensed health facility".  Therefore, when the unsupervised tech erred in filling a prescription, her mistake was to be weighed under the common law definition of "ordinary negligence". 

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