When studying pharmacy law as a pharmacy student, one encounters many abstract concepts. These concepts include duty of care, standard of practice, and learned intermediary doctrine. By rote memorization one can regurgitate these concepts and the applicable pharmacy laws or regulations on an exam. But for practicing pharmacy in the real world, a better way exists to internalize this information.
One thing many young adults remember are the stories they were told as children. The stories have meaning because they involve real people. The ending is often the best part. It tells us what happened! And if we were paying attention, we may recall the moral of the story.
One of the most successful ways of learning abstract pharmacy law concepts is through cases, or stories. We talk about the cast of characters, what happened to whom, which rules were allegedly broken, and what happened in the end. By the end of the case, or story, we will have a take-away message that will help students become better pharmacists.
This textbook begins with a history of tort law to orient students to the material being covered. Chapter 2 describes how to "brief" a case. This skill helps students break down a story into its component parts for dissection and internalization. In Chapter 3 the various torts are covered that are most relevant to the practice of pharmacy. The most important part of each chapter is at the end when the take-away message is discussed. What should students remember about this case? How does it apply to the current practice of pharmacy? A series of questions conclude each chapter that students and their instructor may wish to discuss.
Pharmacy law intimidates some students because it is so far removed from their primarily science backgrounds. This textbook is designed to help students make sense of tort law and apply it to their own experiences. It is hoped that the experiences of others, described in these cases, will help pharmacy students become competent professionals.