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When Pharmacy Gives Wrong Medication, Prescription, or Dosage (Simple Guide)

August 12, 2019


… Pharmaceutical Accident, Medication Error or Pharmacy Malpractice,
they are all the same no matter what you call it. Over 1.3 million people are injured each year
because of medication errors. There are nearly 100,000 death each year due to pharmacy mistakes.
These mistakes cost us all nearly 70 billion dollars. Sadly, each mistake could have been
avoided if the pharmacies and employees followed the careful systems that are in place
to keep us all safe from these mistakes. What should you do if you suspect a drug error? Here is the short list of things to do. First, call your doctor right away. Second, call the Pharmacy immediately. Third Do NOT, and I repeat Do not give back the
miss filled medication under any circumstance. Fourth, Save the unused medication,
the packaging the bag and the receipt Fifth, Do Not give a Recorded Statement And finally call an experienced Pharmacy Malpractice attorney,
one who is board certified by the Florida Bar as a Civil Trial Lawyer. Why and how do pharmacies make mistakes? Unfortunately most mistakes are made in
high volume high stress pharmacies. Some pharmacies are run like fast food restaurants. The pharmacists are asked to fill thousands of prescriptions per day. Some pharmacies have quotas where they expect their
employees to fill as many as 50 prescriptions per hour. You start to wonder, who is in charge at the pharmacy? Is it the pharmacist? Or are corporate profits
driving pharmacists to make avoidable mistakes? Sure, we know nobody’s perfect,
but when it comes to dispensing medication, there are simple things that can be
done to prevent deadly mistakes. Pharmacists tell us that
the most common causes of errors by pharmacists are: Too many telephone calls Overloaded or unusually busy days To many customers A lack of concentration on their part caused by distractions The pharmacists don’t have enough support staff
to double check their work Not enough time to talk to the patient
to make sure both the pharmacists and the patient understand what medication they
are supposed to take, the dosage and frequency. I am sure everyone has been in a busy pharmacy, with a long line of sick people all trying to get
their medication and leave as quickly as possible. If the pharmacy is understaffed the problems are intensified, the stressed employees are trying to do too many
things at the same time and mistakes happen. One common mistake is called Sound Alike Errors. This type of mistake is caused by medications
that have similar names that sound alike. For example, Lidocane and Lindane. They sound sort of similar, but have totally different uses. Lidocane is a medicine that some patients put in
their mouth to help with oral yeast infections. However Lindane is a lice poison that should never be used orally. And if a pharmacist makes this sound alike mistake,
then the result is poisoning of a patient. Another common mistake is called a compounding error. This is when a pharmacy makes a medication and either uses the
wrong ingredients, or they make the dosage at the wrong strength. I have handled a case where a pharmacist make the medication 3,000
times too strong and it caused serious problems for my client. This mistake was simply a math error made by the pharmacist. It’s also common for a prescription to call for .25 mg
and the pharmacist misses the decimal point and dispenses 25mg which is 100 times more than the doctor ordered. Mislabeling Errors also happens too often. This can happen when the patient is given the right medication, but there is a mistake in how often the
patient is supposed to take the medication. Sometimes they take way too much, or not enough. Contraindicated errors are
when a pharmacy fills more than one prescription and the two or three medications
should not be taken at the same time. This often happens when a patient is
seeing more than one doctor at a time. And one doctor may not know what
the other doctors have prescribed. But the pharmacist should catch these
types of mistakes and call the doctors, or notify the patient so they are not taking medications that
will react with each other and cause harm to the patient. For example, Isotretinoin, a drug used to treat acne, is absolutely
contraindicated in pregnancy due to the risk of birth defects. A person who takes Warfarin to thin the blood
should never take aspirin. These are common knowledge things that every pharmacist knows. Sometimes pharmacies dispense medications
beyond their expiration date. This can cause a patient to be under medicated. Or substituting generic drugs without informing the patient. In many cases this does not cause an injury,
but in some cases it can. If you are concerned about substituting generic
for brand name medications ask your doctor if it is safe for you. And also, when a pharmacist fails to “counsel their patient”
which means they should stop what they are doing, and talk to the patient to make sure the patient
is fully informed about the medications that are being given to them. This is one of the best ways to prevent pharmacies mistakes. A pharmacist should ask you: What did the physician tell you the drug is for? How were you told to take the medication? What directions did the physician provide for taking your medication? This is the best chance for the pharmacist
to compare the information on the drug label and what you tell them you think the
medications is for and how to use it. If what you are saying does not match
what the drug is supposed to do, then the pharmacist can catch their
own mistake before you take the drug. I hope you have found this information
helpful to keep you and your family safe. If you have a question, please feel free to call my office
and we will be glad to discuss your particular situation and see if there is anything we can do to help you. Thank you for watching.

5 Comments

  • Reply J C March 25, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    What if you have an illness that is life-threatening and you MUST stay on the medication to avoid problems and no gap in Medicine in permitted? My mail order pharmacy always gets m fixation our late in the mail.

  • Reply Elaine Tardiff November 23, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    pffff, dont RUSH the pharmacist!!!!!!!!!! qquota a day? nope..too many customers complaining about how LONG they have to wait..

  • Reply Bill Xmas December 28, 2018 at 3:10 am

    I had my Walgreens put on the direction on my injection protocol to inject under tongue , been on this intermuscular injection for over 5 yrs , where in the hell would such ignorant carelessness​ come from , just found out past 3 Prescription are 1/2 the strength then the doctor prescribed , vials same size over 5 yrs never had a screw up , pass 6 months been feeling like crap now I know why , Udderly ridiculous , thankfully it wasn't anything like insulin or such that could easily kill someone if taken too much or too little .

  • Reply Asif Manzoor December 29, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    If a prescription contains
    12 mg deflazocort but currently I have 6 mg deflazocort ,can i give a double dose of deflazocort without informing the patient about the unavailability of of deflazocort 12mg!

  • Reply Rana Jameel July 16, 2019 at 9:30 am

    i don't believe this. a pharmacist is specialized person and he can not make any mistake regarding this. there is some probability of error when unqualified staff is working at pharmacy. its bitter truth of the day that every pharmacy is running on behalf of unqualified staff. they even don't have the primary education of community pharmacy practice. they even don't know what exactly pharmacy is. but as far misunderstanding is concerned, errors are always there even with
    a specialized buddy.

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