Louisiana state law requires specific medical training and licensing for someone to serve as a pharmacist. The years of schooling are comparable to what is necessary for medical doctors, and the wages for pharmacists are quite competitive.
Hospital drug dispensaries and retail pharmacies need to have licensed pharmacists to dispense drugs to their patients and customers. It is in the best interests of public safety that only those with the training to spot dangerous interactions or to safely mix intravenous drug suspensions directly handle drug distribution.
However, there simply aren’t enough people pursuing such degrees to ensure that every individual in the state of Louisiana who needs access to a controlled substance can get it directly from a pharmacist.
Pharmacies often hire technicians to help with high demand
Whether you need an antibiotic or anti-anxiety drug, you have to take your doctor’s prescription to a licensed pharmacy to gain access to those medications in most cases. Unfortunately, because there’s so much demand, a pharmacy technician may be the one filling your prescription instead of an actual pharmacist.
A technician doesn’t have nearly the degree of training and education that a pharmacist does. That might mean that inadequate supervision leads to a mistake that could harm you. Louisiana does require more oversight than other states. There are some states that allow a pharmacist to oversee a large number of technicians at the same time, but Louisiana is surprisingly strict in its approach.
In most circumstances, a single pharmacist can only oversee two technicians at a time. However, in times of extreme need, the state will sometimes temporarily amend the rules. Recently, for example, the state allowed pharmacists to oversee up to four technicians at once, a decision which may have meant the pharmacist could not reasonably oversee all the technicians simultaneously. That in turn may have resulted in far more medication errors at pharmacies.
You have rights when the pharmacy makes a mistake
Medication errors can have dire consequences for the patients involved. You may have had to repeat treatment or even see hospitalization because of a drug interaction or an adverse reaction to the wrong drug a drug that you should not have received in the first place.
Pursuing a pharmacy error claim could help you pay your medical bills and cover the other expenses you incurred because a technician or pharmacist made an error while dispensing your drugs.