After working in pharmacy research since 9th grade and graduating in 1989 from pharmacy school at Florida A&M University of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, I worked as a pharmacist throughout law school and afterwards as I built my law practice. Although my law practice has required my full work attention for many years, pharmacy remains a jealous profession, reminding me that it was my first. I maintain my license to practice pharmacy. As such, I continue active pharmacy education and legislative insights as new laws affects the profession and practice of pharmacy, and impact clients and our community. I am proud to be a Florida Pharmacist and Lawyer.
Pharmacists are in the business of helping and healing people. The academic and practicum training lends itself to the pharmacy oath:
“I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of
pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow:
- I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.
- I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.
- I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.
- I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.
- I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.
- I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.
- I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists. I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.”
Why Pharmacy Errors Occur
As population and tourism continue to increase, similarly-named drugs with similar colors continue to get produced, and demands on the pharmacist continue to increase, there are going to be prescription drug errors.
Whether in a hospital or retail setting, most prescription medication errors are caught and corrected before injury occurs.
There are harmful effects of pharmacy negligence which are either serious or fatal because of the drug or health consequences from using the wrong medication.
Pharmacy negligence and prescription drug errors are usually preventable with the implementation of appropriate safety procedures, some basic precautions and the application of reasonable care.
Common pharmacy mistakes include:
- Dispensing the wrong medication or dosage
- Dispensing the wrong instructions
- Dispensing medication to the wrong person
- Mix-up due to look-alike or similar name drugs
- Miscommunication between pharmacist and doctors
- Failure to protect against harmful drug interactions
- Failure to provide adequate counseling
- Failure to identify drug allergies
Precautions to avoid prescription errors and minimize the risk of pharmacy negligence include:
- Talk with your doctor – write down the drug name and know what it is for.
- Select a pharmacy and pharmacist who knows you and your medical history.
- Check the label & open the bottle before leaving the pharmacy or taking medication to ensure it is yours.
- If you have any questions, ask the pharmacist before you take the medication!
My staff and I are committed to holding pharmacies and pharmacists accountable for harm that they caused to a patient/consumer. Legal accountability helps to reduce the overall incidence of pharmacy errors and negligence. When a pharmacy error occurs, contact pharmacist and attorney Salesia Smith-Gordon in West Palm Beach at 561-655-9279, an experienced Florida pharmacy negligence attorney.