Do Pharmacists Need Malpractice Insurance?

Pharmacists are taking on more responsibilities, which means they are taking on more risk. So, let’s start with professional liability or malpractice insurance, because if you don’t have it, you risk losing your job and your possessions.

Pharmacists, being licensed healthcare professionals, may be sued if they are negligent in the care of a patient. If a claim or lawsuit is brought against a pharmacist because of an error made while executing pharmacist duties, professional liability insurance protects them. According to a claim survey, 75% of all lawsuits made against pharmacists were for the inappropriate medicine or dosage.

For the modest price you may otherwise pay for peace of mind, it is not worth the danger of being uninsured.

Employer-sponsored vs. individual professional liability

You can receive liability insurance from your employer, from independent insurers, or both. It’s worth noting that employer-sponsored liability insurances are often biased toward the company’s protection and may not provide adequate coverage for employees.

Many independent insurers, like the Healthcare Providers Service Organization and Proliability by Mercer (both partners of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), offer the required coverage for as little as $110 per year. Individual professional liability insurance is advised for all practicing pharmacists, especially if you fall into one of the following categories:

You are self-employed or work on a contract or consultancy basis, such as managing drug therapy.

Your job entails administering medications, such as in a retail pharmacy, because this is where medication errors are most likely to occur.

Because you work in academia, you may need to take extra precautions to protect your educational resources.

Do pharmacists have liability insurance?

RxA is committed to providing our members with the skills and resources they need to thrive in their careers. This is why the Canadian Pharmacists Benefits Association offers claims-made professional liability insurance (CPBA).

Only the 2021–2022 CPBA Professional Liability Insurance and the 2021–2022 RxA Membership can be purchased together.

What are the insurance requirements?

All pharmacists on the clinical register of the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) must show proof of $2,000,000 professional liability insurance.

What are my options when it comes to professional liability insurance?

Not all insurance policies are made equal. Each pharmacist should be aware of their insurance needs and verify that the insurance plan they choose is appropriate for their situation.

Is Your Business Protected? How the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA) and the Canadian Pharmacists Benefits Association (CPBA) Are Protecting You

What is available through RxA?

RxA’s CPBA professional liability insurance goes above and beyond ACP regulations, making it ideal for both traditional positions and increasing the area of practice.

  • $2,000,000 annual aggregate professional liability insurance exclusive to RxA members who surpass ACP licensing standards.
  • Additional coverage of $5,000,000 per claim and a yearly aggregate is also offered to members.
  • Insurance that is based on the fact that a claim has been made. The policy covers claims that are made for the first time during the policy period.

Supplementary Policy

Some pharmacists may have automatic E&O coverage through their workplace, according to the CPBA. In order to have peace of mind, pharmacists can now obtain a “supplementary” policy that will help cover any potential coverage gaps in their employer’s policy. It’s vital to remember that the supplementary insurance will only reply if you have VALID primary coverage. Please double-check that your primary insurance hasn’t expired, been cancelled, or is no longer valid.

How to purchase professional liability insurance offered through RxA?

If you are a member of the RxA, you are eligible for CPBA professional liability insurance. Here’s where you can learn more about the advantages of membership.

Why pharmacist insurance is important?

Pharmacists, like other medical professionals, are committed to putting their patients’ health first. Professional liability insurance ensures that you can safely perform all of the tasks essential to assist your patients.

What is pharmacist liability?

Professional liability insurance protects a pharmacist in the case of a claim alleging an actual or alleged error or omission while performing responsibilities that fall within the “scope of practice” of a pharmacist.

What is negligence in pharmacy?

Negligence is defined as a failure to exercise the same level of caution that a prudent person would under similar circumstances. In layman’s terms, someone who is neglectful has been reckless in their job performance. Intentional injury does not fall within the category of negligence.

In a medical office, as well as with ancillary services, there are various sorts of neglect that might occur.

Pharmacy negligence happens when a pharmacist administering pharmaceuticals makes a mistake or omission as a result of a careless operation or method, as you might imagine.

What if a pharmacist makes a mistake?

If a mistake has been made, you can reasonably expect the pharmacy staff to undertake the following:

  • Inform your doctor about the situation (if you have taken any doses of the wrong medicine).

What factors favor finding the pharmacist liable for negligence?

To establish that a person acted negligently, it must be demonstrated that he or she failed to exert the level of caution that a prudent person would have used in the identical circumstances. The plaintiff must prove four components in a pharmacist negligence case: duty, breach of that duty, injury or harm, and proximate cause of the injury or harm.


When a person owes an obligation to another, he or she is expected to act in a certain way for the benefit of that other. Prescriptions must be filled accurately by pharmacists as a courtesy to their customers. This means that a pharmacist must ensure that the medication delivered is identical to the medication recommended. A pharmacist is also responsible for dispensing the correct medication in the proper dosage. The pharmacist is also in charge of labeling the medication with correct directions for use. Patient counseling and keeping correct patient medication profiles may be additional responsibilities. In most states, pharmacists are required to check patient profiles for drug allergies and potentially dangerous interactions between drugs. Other responsibilities are less clear, and courts may interpret and enforce them differently from state to state. Most nations, for example, hold that doctors, not pharmacists, are responsible for alerting patients about a drug’s dangers and adverse effects, with a few exceptions. A pharmacist, on the other hand, may be considered negligent if he dispensed a lethal dose or failed to warn of a drug’s dangerous effect with alcohol when he knew the patient was an alcoholic. As a result, a pharmacist may be held accountable if he or she fails to act on specific knowledge of a drug’s dangers to a specific consumer. Pharmacists, on the other hand, are expected to take reasonable precautions to avoid foreseeable injury.


When a pharmacist’s obligation to a patient is either not done, or is performed improperly or incompletely, the duty is breached. Filling a prescription with the incorrect substance or dosage, as well as labeling the medication with incorrect use instructions, are both violations of duty. Other violations of duty are more ambiguous. It can be difficult to assess the appropriateness or accuracy of patient counseling or drug use reviews. Expert witness testimony may be required to determine the standard of care and whether the pharmacist’s activities were in accordance with that standard.

Injury or Harm

In a pharmacist negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that there was a damage or harm as a result of the negligence. A pharmacist who fills a prescription wrongly, for example, could result in an overdose, which could be lethal or life-threatening. Alternatively, without a doctor’s permission, a pharmacist may replace a generic medicine for a brand-name drug. Because the substitution caused an unfavorable or allergic reaction or was less effective than the prescription prescribed, the pharmacist may be held accountable for carelessness. A claim for emotional injuries like stress or worry must be supported on actual bodily injury in many states. Patients who have been damaged by a pharmacist’s negligence may claim damages for lost wages, the worth of their lives, and, if necessary, recompense for emotional injuries.

Proximate Cause

In order to win a pharmacist negligence action, the plaintiff must show that the pharmacist’s breach of duty caused her injuries directly. This is a difficult factor to prove and frequently necessitates expert witness. For example, determining whether the patient’s symptoms were caused by an erroneously filled prescription or his or her underlying sickness or condition may be challenging. Alternatively, a patient’s injuries could be the result of something other than a pharmacist’s negligence. In one example, a pharmacist switched a generic medicine without sufficient authorization, resulting in the patient’s death. The court determined that the medicine, a fentanyl patch, was defectively developed and that the pharmacist owed the plaintiff no legal obligations.


By showing only one of the requisite elements- duty, breach, injury, or cause of injury- a pharmacist can avoid liability for negligence. A pharmacist may also argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by anything other than his or her negligence. A pharmacist may also allege contributory negligence on the plaintiff’s behalf, such as failure to follow the prescription drug’s instructions.

Can I sue the pharmacy for losing my prescription?

When a person obtains the incorrect drug or the incorrect dose of a medication, he or she may not realize it until symptoms appear. A medication error can worsen an existing medical condition or result in new medical problems, depending on the type of drug and the person’s medical conditions. A significant drug error could result in death. Prescription errors in pharmacies can lead to complications that necessitate hospitalization and costly medical treatment. A medication error victim may be eligible to compensation for medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering, and more through a pharmacy malpractice action.

Can a pharmacist become a doctor?

They can now utilize the ‘Dr.’ prefix. According to a report in the Times of India, the Pharmacy Council of India has taken the decisive step of allowing all candidates holding a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degree from recognized universities to use the ‘Dr.’ prefix with their names.