If my husband was misdiagnosed and ended up with a costly unused prescription, can we get out money back?

My husband was diagnosed with pneumonia by doctor at urgent care and prescribed drug with dangerous potential side effects which which cost $185 out of our pocket. Insurance also paid $185. Neither doctor or pharmacist mentioned about side effects. Next day my husband went to the hospital and after blood test and X-rays was told that he doesn’t have pneumonia and he was prescribed antibiotic. Pharmacy will not give us a refund for this drug that my husband doesn’t need. Is there any way to get our money back?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under General Practice, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, it's not the pharmacy's responsibility from  what you write--the pharmacy apparently lawfully fulfilled a valild (if incorrect) prescription from a doctor. It's like if you went to a supermarket and bought expensive stake for a dinner party, then realized all the guests were vegetarians; the store does not need to refund a valid sale because someone other than it made a mistake.

If your husband was misdiagnosed, then you *may* have a malpractice claim against the doctor who rendered the diagnosis; you could look for recovery of the cost of the drugs and of any following medical care your husband needed because of it. However, malpractice claims can be *very* expensive, so unless the doctor or urgent care more or less voluntarily picks up these costs if you approach them, then--assuming your husband was fortunate enough to not suffer any real injury or costs--it's almost certain that it would not be worthwhile taking action.

You can always report the doctor to the urgent care facility's management, or doctor and facility to the state licensing board, if you feel they did wrong but it's not worth suint.

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