Drury v. Connecticut CVS Pharmacy
A written opinion that indicates that the author is a pharmacist and that the defendant pharmacist departed from the medical standard of care, because she allegedly dispensed the wrong medicine, adequately provides a "detailed basis" for the opinion, even if the writer does not explicitly identify the medical standard of care or how a pharmacist allegedly breached that standard. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that his neurologist prescribed Pregabalin for his seizure disorder and that the defendant pharmacy allegedly dispensed Prednisone and then informed the plaintiff's neurologist about the mistake. The plaintiff's complaint was accompanied by a written opinion of a similar healthcare provider, another pharmacist who opined that any pharmacist who allegedly dispenses Prednisone for a patient who has been prescribed Pregabalin fails to comply with the medical standard of care. The plaintiff's pharmacist wrote, "I am a duly licensed and credentialed pharmacist in the State of Connecticut. I have been in active pharmaceutical practice in Connecticut since 1975. A pharmacist filling a prescription for pregabalin (Lyrica) with prednisone would certainly represent a deviation from the standard of care." The defendant pharmacy moved to dismiss and argued that the plaintiff's written opinion from a similar healthcare provider was insufficient, because it omitted any mention of the applicable medical standard of care and or how a pharmacist allegedly breached that standard. "The failure to provide a written opinion letter, or the attachment of a written opinion letter that does not comply with §52-190a, constitutes insufficient process," pursuant to Morgan v. Hartford Hospital, a 2011 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Here, the Superior Court was not persuaded that the written medical opinion was deficient, because it did not identify precisely how an error took place. "[T]he written opinion," wrote the Superior Court, "when read in light of the complaint, provides the defendants with notice that, in the opinion of the author, if they, or their employee or agent, filled the plaintiff's prescription for Pregabalin by providing him with Prednisone, they deviated from the standard of care." The court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss.