TEXAS: Pharmacists Have No Duty To Issue Safety Warnings
A Texas appeals court ruled yesterday that pharmacists have no obligation "to warn patients about potentially dangerous side effects to prescription drugs," the AP/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The decision overturned a $1 million jury verdict that a Wal-Mart pharmacy was responsible in part for the death of a 12-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, who suffered an allergic reaction after taking a drug that was neither recommended for children nor approved for treating ADHD. The 3rd District Court of Appeals stated that the Texas law under which the family sued is meant to regulate the "legal storage and distribution of prescription drugs" and to provide operational standards for pharmacists. The court wrote, "Although pharmacists may warn a patient, they are not required by law or rule to do so." It added that a mandate for pharmacists to question all prescriptions would violate the doctor-patient relationship. Lawyers for the boy's family plan to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Attorney Michael Mosher said, "The court is going against the Texas Legislature. They're just wrong" (8/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.