What are my rights if I was given the wrong insulin by a pharmacy?

About a month ago my prescriptions were filled at a pharmacy. I was out of my long term insulin but had both my long-term and short-term insulin filled. When they filled the short term insulin they gave me the wrong form of my usual insulin; I didn’t realize there was more than 1 type. At the time they filled they also mentioned that the other insulin pen I was on was discontinued, so again I just trusted that they gave me the correct insulin. I took the wrong medicine for over 2 1/2weeks. During this time my sugar dipped several times into levels where I almost did not wake up. What is my legal recourse?

Asked on March 11, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You say you "almost did not wake up"--but what else happened? Did you require medical attention (and medical costs)? Did you suffer some long-term injury, damage, or disability? Did you miss work and wages? Etc. The reason this is important is that the legal system is designed to provide compensation for actual losses or injuries (or costs), not for "close calls." If you are fortunate enough to have not suffered economic loss or physical injury, you would very likely not have an effective or worthwhile cause of action, even if the pharmacy was negligent--though in that case, you could still report the incident to upper management/corporate offices or to a state agency which licenses pharmicists.

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